Yes of course, this is a theft crime and the conviction of a theft crime will have a serious effect on your future employment, etc.. You need to get an attorney to represent you for this matter. Don not be fooled by the label of "Petty" theft!
Theft convictions--any convictions, for that matter--can affect immigration, employment, licensing and a host of other areas of your life. Get an attorney if you are able. Van Nuys is a tough place to be without counsel.
No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT... moreNo legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia less