Today I just received a letter for the district attorney of orange county. I am been charge by someone of petty theft.

Asked over 1 year ago - Canoga Park, CA

I have evidence that is not me I did not take what they are accusing me of doing. Do I need a lawyer for this case? and can I sue the company for slander and defamation.

Attorney answers (7)

  1. Daniel William Cohen

    Contributor Level 8

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you absolutely need a lawyer. You should share your exonerating evidence with your lawyer who should know how to present it to the prosecutor in the most persuasive fashion & hopefully convince the DA to drop the case. With regard to suing the store, you need to speak with a lawyer conversant in 1st Amendment issues. Defamation suits have some special hurdles (anti-slapp etc) that may be unfamiliar to many lawyers.

  2. Seth Andrew Weinstein

    Contributor Level 15

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Petty Theft is a serious misdemeanor crime. If you have a defense, you need an attorney to present that defense to the Orange County District Attorney and Court.

    You generally cannot sue the company who is demanding prosecution for slander and defamation for several reasons. One, if there is any indication you may have taken the item, you cannot sue.

    My advice would be to deal with the criminal matter first, then any potential civil case. You could face some county jail time.

    Contact me below to discuss your criminal case.

    Seth Weinstein, Esq.
    Practicing throughout Southern California
    (310) 707-7131
    www.sethweinsteinlaw.com

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient... more
  3. Maltaise E Cini

    Contributor Level 16

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should retain an attorney to represent you on the petty theft. This is a crime of moral turpitude that can have serious implications on your future. You do not want to speak with the District Attorney yourself. Allow an attorney to be your spokesperson and present the evidence on your behalf.

  4. Greg Hagopian

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Anyone charged with a crime needs a lawyer. Slander/defamation requires that the person or business either lie about or recklessly fail to interrogate the untruths they tell. Probably not the case here, but I would need more information.

  5. David Mark Wallin

    Contributor Level 14

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The short answer is YES. Theft of any kind, is a very serious criminal charge. As a forner deputy district attorney, I cannot address slander. As a criminal law specialist I have 1 goal....to get charges dismissed or reduced. I can refer you to a good attorney in Orang County. Call me at 661-222-2253 if you want any advise.......David Wallin

  6. Brian K Wanerman

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you have truly received a letter from the D.A., then this is serious. Usually, in petty theft cases you'll get a letter from the store, their lawyer or the "mall cops" of their lawyer threatening action and demanding that you cough up a lot of money to prevent it. These letters are hollow threats. Private individuals or companies have no authority to file charges. Only the D.A. can do this. However, if the DA has sent you a letter, it's likely that he will charge you. As other lawyers on this thread have indicated, petty theft is a serious matter. Get an attorney IMMEDIATELY!

  7. Brian Russell Michaels

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes you most definitely do need an attorney. We practice in both LA and Orange Counties and can tell you there is a world of difference. A minor petty theft in Los Angeles would likely go away quietly. Nothing goes away quietly in Orange County regardless of how strongly you believe in your innocence. Prepare for a fight in Orange County. You need to get a Not Guilty or a Dismissal in your criminal case before anyone will talk to you about libel/slander or false arrest which is the more logical charge. Happy to take your call any time.

    Brian Michaels
    www.socalcrimdefense.com
    3109919179

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

26,927 answers this week

3,069 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

26,927 answers this week

3,069 attorneys answering