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What happens when caught for petty theft while on probation?

San Marcos, CA |

I was caught for stealing $10 sunglasses from nordstroms and charged with petty theft. About 23 months ago i was caught stealing from macy's and charged with burglary and petty theft due to the fact that they deemed I went into the store with the intent to steal. But, the burglary charge was dropped and i was sentenced with two years informal probation for the petty theft conviction. will i be facing jail time for violating my probation terms? I know that the best way to avoid these situations is by not being stupid in the first place and keeping my hands clean, but now I just don't know what to do.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. I assume that as a condition of your information probation from 23 months ago you were ordered to obey all laws. Because your two years of informal probation has almost expired, a court could very well just terminate your probation on the old case and deal with you on the new case. Yes, you could go to jail. But how you are sentenced is just a guess to the lawyers on this forum.

    In my experience a judge is likely to think, "She doesn't get it," and give you a harsher penalty this time than you had before.


  2. The normal term of probation is three years, not two. Nevertheless, one of the conditions of probation is to "violate no laws." This new theft is a violation and may result in revocation and sentencing in the older case, as well as any other consequences that attach to the new case. You should obtain a free consultation from a local defense attorney to see what can be done in your specific case to ensure you get the best possible result.

    Law Office of Andrew Limberg, APLC 380 S. Melrose Dr., #329 Vista, CA 92081 (760) 806-4381


  3. I think that the fact that this occurred while you were on probation should be the least of your concerns and of the attorney you hire. Because you have suffered a prior conviction for the Petty Theft and woud have had a booking completed (fingerprinting or jail time) the new Petty Theft charge can and probably will be maqde a Felony under Penal Code Section 666(b) which I am provideing to you to review.

    666. (a) Notwithstanding Section 490, every person who, having been
    convicted three or more times of petty theft, grand theft, auto
    theft under Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code, burglary, carjacking,
    robbery, or a felony violation of Section 496 and having served a
    term therefor in any penal institution or having been imprisoned
    therein as a condition of probation for that offense, is subsequently
    convicted of petty theft, then the person convicted of that
    subsequent offense is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail
    not exceeding one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h)
    of Section 1170.
    (b) Notwithstanding Section 490, any person described in paragraph
    (1) who, having been convicted of petty theft, grand theft, auto
    theft under Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code, burglary, carjacking,
    robbery, or a felony violation of Section 496, and having served a
    term of imprisonment therefor in any penal institution or having been
    imprisoned therein as a condition of probation for that offense, who
    is subsequently convicted of petty theft, is punishable by
    imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the
    state prison.

    You definitely need to contact a local Criminal Defense Attorney to review your case and immediately start work on mitigants in your matter.

    Paul H Neuharth, Jr 619-21-0401


  4. You are facing jail time on the new theft (if only a second time petty theft charge it will still be a misdemeanor) offense plus the probation violation. What to do? Stop stealing and hire the best locally experienced criminal defense attorney you can afford.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555


  5. You possibly may be looking at jail time for the probation violation and the new case, but it depends on many factors (such as prior criminal record, facts of current case, mitigating factors such as school/work, etc.). You should speak with local experienced criminal attorneys to discuss your case and likely outcomes. Many criminal lawyers offer free consultations and you should speak to some over the phone or in person to discuss your case more in detail.

    David M. Boertje, Esq.
    (760) 476-0901
    www.boertjelaw.com

    *Please note that this is not legal advice and in no way formed an attorney-client relationship*

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