What is the best outcome for petty theft ($25), first timer, 18 yrs old, full time student, recently employed, in LA County?

Asked about 3 years ago - Whittier, CA

Can you also list a couple of next best outcomes, in order from best to worst. Thank you.
Would it also help that I paid the $400 civil demand letter in full?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Ross Bennett Erlich

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . Based upon the information that you have provided, and without knowing more, I would say that the best outcome for you would either be an outright dismissal, a dismissal after completing some theft classes or reducing your charge under Penal Code section 484(a) to an infraction would be the best, and most likely, outcomes in your position.

    Considering this is your first offense and the dollar amount is relatively low, I would want to pursue the dismissal path as this will afford no conviction on your criminal record. Other options, as mentioned above, include possible infractions to trespassing or disturbing the peace.

    If you would like some additional information, or for a free consultation, contact our office at (818) 783-5700. You can also look us up online at www.4criminaldefense.com.

  2. Elliot Rahmim Zarabi


    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . The civil demand should not have an bearing on your case. There are 2 prosecutors that handle petty theft cases in Whittier, are you in department 5?

    As I stated before you may be eligible for an infraction. I just worked out a deal for one of my clients where I got her charges dismissed.

    If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.

    Elliot Zarabi

  3. Joseph Briscoe Dane


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The very best outcome is that charges are never filed or dismissed and you're found factually innocent by a judge. That will seal and destroy your arrest record and wipe the slate clean.

    From there, a dismissal without a guilty plea is the next best

    A dismissal after a diversion

    An infraction and/or a different charge

    The civil demand letter is just that - a demand. It has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of your criminal case. If you pay it, it won't change a thing on your criminal prosecution. If you ignore it, it won't make things worse. If you do a little search here on avvo, you'll find that the overwhelming response to questions about civil demand letters is to ignore them, as they're all bark and no bite. The firms that send those letters (almost) never follow up if you ignore them.

  4. Philip Daniel Hache


    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . A dismissal, (preferably by informal diversion or potentially a civil compromise depending on the store), or reduced to an infraction would be the goals. Call me at 818-336-1384 if you would like to talk about your case in more detail.

    Legal disclaimer: This message does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This... more

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

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

22,916 answers this week

2,869 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

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

22,916 answers this week

2,869 attorneys answering