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Mark A. Gallagher

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Theft

Petty Theft Defense in Los Angeles

Seek the Services of an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

For many people, theft charges bring to mind heist movies where expensive items are stolen, or video games such as “Grand Theft Auto.” Stealing some items, such as guns or cars, is always considered grand theft regardless of the value of the item taken. The vast majority of theft charges, however, are petty theft charges. This means the value of the item was $950 or less.

 

The news has been saying for years now that the economy has been recovering and improving. For many Californians, however, it is still extremely difficult to find a job and make ends meet. All too often events that are treated as crimes and character flaws by law enforcement and society at large are actually the result of desperation.

 

Other times, petty theft charges are the result of a genuine misunderstanding. For example, you are frazzled from running too many errands in a day and forget to pay for an item. Or you are shopping with a small child who puts an item in your purse or bag when you’re not looking.

 

We do not believe that situations like these call for maximum penalties. Unfortunately, law enforcement and the prosecution do not always agree. That is why it is important that you seek the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney even if you are facing “petty” theft charges. Having someone on your side to help you navigate the maze of bureaucracy and paperwork may help you reach the best possible outcome as quickly as possible.

 

Supposedly "Minor" Petty Theft Charges can lead to Major Consequences

 
There are many theft and theft-related laws in the state of California. That means theft charges can be extremely complicated. Fortunately, however, there are numerous possible defense strategies as well. If there is not enough evidence, for example, the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed.
 
Many individuals who are accused of petty theft or shoplifting have no prior criminal record. If this is the case, then we will take your reputation as an upstanding citizen into consideration when crafting your defense. You may not have even realized at the time of your arrest that supposedly “minor” petty theft charges can lead to major consequences that include:
 
  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • A driver’s license suspension
  • Immigration consequences for non-citizens
  • Loss of eligibility for financial aid
  • Loss of eligibility for certain professional licenses
Other collateral consequences are that having a misdemeanor conviction on your record may increase the odds that any future crime you are charged with will be made at the felony level. The more often you cross paths with the criminal justice system, the more significant the ramifications can become.
 
Don’t sit by while your entire future is at risk. If you have been charged with shoplifting, petty theft, or grand theft of any kind in Los Angeles county, contact us right away. The sooner you speak with a criminal defense attorney, the more options may be available to you in your defense.