In California, petty theft is a misdemeanor and the consequences of a petty theft charge can carry with you for life. If you are found guilty and convicted of a petty theft in Fresno, you could receive up to six (6) months in county jail, fines up to $1,000 (plus penalty assessment and court costs), and up to five years’ probation. The Court could also order community service, theft classes, and restitution payments to the victim.
Petty theft charges usually result from shoplifting at a department store, grocery store, liquor store, or other store that will usually have video surveillance, eye witnesses’ reports, and police reports.
In order to prove the crime of petty theft, the district attorney must show you actually intended to steal. When the theft was accidental because you forgot you had the item, there may be a defense that you did not intend to steal.
Petty theft convictions can be difficult to fight and it is extremely beneficial to have a criminal defense lawyer to fight your charges. There are many techniques a Fresno criminal attorney may use to resolve your case, including explaining your situation and showing mitigating factors to the district attorney and judge that can help get the charges reduced or dismissed.
If you have been arrested or charged with a petty theft crime, don’t wait to call an experienced criminal attorney. There are many proactive steps that can be taken to help you before your court date that can minimize the consequences of being charged with a misdemeanor petty theft. Feel free to contact our office to discuss your case for free at (559) 447-1240. You may also see our website for more information on petty theft and shoplifting pages.