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What are possible consequences for stealing $1000 under CA criminal code I am a juvenile

Laguna Niguel, CA |

I stole money from the place I work with some of the other employees and the company found out. It was over $1000 and I am a minor. I have had no previous record and I do well in school. They did not arrest me yet. The officer told me that there was a citation written against me and it is up to the company of what they would continue to do. If they prosecute, what kind of punishment am I looking at?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

I am guessing that you are over 16 years old, since you have a job. You could be charged as an adult. If you are charged as an adult, you could be convicted of grand theft, a violation of Penal Code Sec. 487(a). this offense can be punished either as a felony (with a sentencing range of 16 months, two years or three years), or a misdemeanor (with a top sentence of a year in the county jail). If you are convicted as an adult, given your age and good record, you'd probably receive probation with no jail time.
It's very important to read exactly what your citation says, and to discuss it with your lawyer. It's MUCH preferable for you to have the matter handled in juvenile court, because your juvenile record will disappear (for most but not all purposes) when you turn 18. Your lawyer, AND YOU SHOULD RETAIN A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY, should contact the police and your employer and find out what they intend to do. Then he should talk to your employer about making full restitution. DO NOT TALK ABOUT RESTITUTION TO POLICE OR YOUR EMPLOYER YOURSELF; SUCH TALK WILL BE TAKEN AS AN ADMISSION OF GUILT. This is one, but only one, of the reasons why it's important to have a lawyer. Your lawyer can say things without those things necessarily counting against you.
If you are sentenced as an adult, even if you receive probation with no jail time, your criminal record will show that you have committed a crime of moral turpitude, that is, a crime that involves stealing, cheating, lying, or some other form of dishonesty or bad character. A moral turpitude crime is a VERY bad thing to have on your record, which is why it is important that you retain experienced legal counsel immediately.

Posted

The prior answer explains the "worst case scenario," which is certainly important. But it is also true that many first-time juvenile offenders receive diversion, either from the probation department or the court. An attorney can help achieve this result in some situations.

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