What are the possible outcomes of a shoplifting charge?

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What are the possible outcomes of a shoplifting charge?

My question involves criminal law for the state of: California I am a 19 years-old girl who has just committed a 1st time Petty Theft (484 P.C.). of $139 in Sacramento. I have never done anything illegal before. I regret this stupidness. I actually thought about that before I left the store. I actually turned around and walked toward the store with an intention to return them. How can I erase it from my record? or will it stay forever?

Asked on September 16, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Theft and petty theft are the most commonly prosecuted crimes.  You are correct that it is Petty Theft because the merchandise was under the amount of $400.   If you are charged and convicted of misdemeanor petty theft, you may be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail and be hit with a fine ranging from $50 to $1000.  What I would strongly suggest is to hire an attorney in this matter.  It will be costly, sure, but you have pretty big stuff at stake here.  The charges could indeed be reduced to what is known as an "infraction" which comes with it much lesser penalties.  But the option to do so is that of the prosecution and you will need whatever help on your side that you can get.  Good luck.


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