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What to do about theft under 50$

Menlo Park, CA |

Got caught taking 2 bottles of wine from safeway (under 20$ sum) and returned it after being asked to. Police were called, was not placed under arrest. Received a letter saying there was a warrant out for my arrest listing a bail amount of 5000$. I dont understand whats going on? Thanks

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Attorney answers 4


It sounds like the police submitted the matter to the prosecuting agency and that charges have been filed. You don't have to be arrested for charges to be filed. If you have a warrant, you likely missed a court appearance. The public defender's office may have information on the case number and the date you were supposed to be in court. Or you can hire an attorney to poke around for you. With respect to what will actually happen, $50 is considered relatively low. You don't tell us what county this occurred in, but diversion is a possibility with the low value, provided you do not have a prior record. You need to take care of the warrant immediately. good luck



Thanks for getting back so quickly. it occurred in san mateo county. The amount was almost certainly under 20$ with tax probably. I received a letter saying there was a case being built but that was it. No court date was missed. I will most certainly talk to a lawyer. I have no other offenses. Is there perhaps a mistake?


You should speak with the public defender's office or retain a criminal defense attorney in your area like Ms. Berry-Jacoby who can review the outstanding warrant and help you resolve it. You do not want to ignore this matter!

The foregoing response is provided for general informational purposes only and is not a solicitation for business. Please retain an attorney if you need specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established until both you and me agree to establish one, and neither transmission of information herein, nor the receipt of such information, constitutes an agreement to establish an attorney-client relationship.


You should contact an attorney if you can: otherwise you'll have to surrender on the warrant to clear it and then deal with the case. Otherwise, you can post $5000 cash bail or pay a bailbondman $500 to post it for you.

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You should hire an attorney to deal with this outstanding warrant as soon as possible. You don't want a warrant floating out there as you are subject to being arrested any time you have any kind of police encounter. As for the substantive charge of petty theft you should retain an attorney to help you get diversion. Good luck

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