Should I Hire Theft Lawyer Redwood City CA Clients Trust for a Petty Theft Charge?
Petty theft is one category of a theft crime which is determined by the lower value of stolen property. Theft laws are divided into two separate categories by most states: petty theft and grand theft. If the property stolen is worth more than $400, it is classified as grand theft. For any thefts that are worth less than $400, it is considered as petty theft.
While petty theft may sound like the charge may be no big deal, you could be facing the legal consequences of a petty theft criminal charge. If you are being charged with a petty theft criminal charge, you may want to hire a theft lawyer. The professionals at Morales Law Firm have over 25 years of experience in defending theft charges. Petty theft laws can vary between each jurisdiction so it is important to have someone on your side who understands the varying laws.
Petty theft most commonly is connected with shoplifting, which is when someone steals from a retail store. It also occurs when someone is at a location legally; if someone was illegally at a location and stole property, it would be considered a burglary charge instead of a petty theft charge.
Petty Theft Examples
Most commonly, petty theft, as stated above, is when a person steals something from a store by putting it in their purse or pocket. However, there are many different types of theft that can be considered as petty theft and it does not have to involve lifting property.
Some examples of petty theft are:
- Dine and dash: When someone eats food at a restaurant and leaves before paying
- Watch and dash: Watching a movie in a theater without paying for a ticket
- Eating in a store and not paying for the food
- Switching price tags on items so you are able to pay a lesser price
- Putting a higher-costing item into a lower-costing item’s box
It is important to note that some people might not believe some of these examples are theft. However, just because they do not know it is theft, does not make it legal. Ignorance of the law is not a defense in San Mateo County. Even if someone does not know they are committing a theft, they could still face criminal charges if they are caught.
Is Theft a Misdemeanor or a Felony in San Mateo County?
Theft could be considered a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the item stolen. Grand theft is a felony; it is still considered a felony for those who have never committed a grand theft previously. Petty theft is typically found as a misdemeanor for a first-time offender. For repeat offenders, petty theft could potentially result in felony charges. Felony charges and misdemeanors are very different, especially in terms of someone’s criminal record. Misdemeanors are much easier than felonies to erase from a criminal record. This becomes a factor when someone is applying for a job or to rent an apartment.
Make an Appointment with a Theft Lawyer Redwood City CA Residents Recommend
If you have been charged with petty theft, do not take this charge lightly. It could result in large fines and jail time. Despite the name of the charge, it is important to have someone on your side to help defend your rights. Each theft lawyer at Morales Law Firm can help inform you of theft defenses that could be available for your case. They will also know the criminal laws that would be applicable in San Mateo County and help explain the full process. Contact Morales Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.