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I got caught shoplifting from walmart.

Los Angeles, CA |

Last week I shoplifted 50 cents value candy. They gave me court date. What to expect?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It's hard to be a $.50 piece of candy would land you in criminal court! You haven't mentioned whether you have prior petty theft convictions, but this is a matter definitely worthy of a dismissal with advocating on your behalf. If a court date has already been set (I'm assuming the "they" you refer to is law enforcement) , the prosecuting agency will make its determination whether to charge you. If they do, your lawyer will most likely negotiate a diversion or an infraction. If you have the means to hire an attorney before hand, your attorney will push for a DA/CA reject decision.


  2. I would expect charges to be dropped. The expense of the paper and file folder used by the court exceeds the value of the item stolen.

    However, as the earlier attorney noted, if you have a prior criminal record, this is a totally different story. Especially if you already have three prior shoplifting convictions - then you face a felony shoplifting charge under Penal Code section 666.

    It this is the case, or even if you have one prior shoplifting conviction, buckle down. Take a shoplifting prevention course online through the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention and bring the completion certificate to court with you. The website offers two courses. Take the shorter one, which costs about $40, and lasts about 3 hours.

    I hope, for my continuing faith in our legal system, that the prosecution chose a "No File" when you report to court, or at least reduce charges to a Penal Code section 490.1 charge. Please e-mail after your arraignment to let me know what happened.


  3. As the other attorneys have stated, it is difficult to believe this is your first theft incident. I have had clients who stole items of higher value, yet were not cited/arrested by the police, or the case was rejected by the D.A.'s office.

    Either way, even if you have priors, 50 cents is such a minor amount, that I am positive there is a strong potential for a dismissal with certain terms.

    If you do not have the funds for a private attorney, you will qualify for the public defender. Otherwise, consult with a criminal defense attorney about representation prior to your first court appearance.


  4. You might seek an infraction. Also counseling

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced 39+ yrs. I can be reached at 213-819-1171. I practicein Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. I give only appointments over the phone., these services do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend as I do not believe in pulling punches or sugar coating the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ and I would appreciate it if you feel like marking my answers helpful or best. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are court documents , less expensive.

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