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Can my girlfriend travel before her court date for petty theft ?

Huntington Beach, CA |

my girl was blaimed for petty theft in a shopping mall becuase the motion sensor went off when she was looking a watch worth $25, the officer gave her a court date and to pay a fine........ this is her first offence

how much could the fine be

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Attorney answers 3


A couple of things:

First - the "fine" they're talking about is a civil demand. There are law firms that do nothing but send letters to people accused of shoplifting demanding hundreds of dollars on behalf of the store. Yes, it's legal for them to do that and to demand money, but it's all bark and no bite. If you ignore those letters, odds are they will just drop it. Discuss this aspect further with her attorney.

As to the rest of your question - yes, she can travel with a pending misdemeanor court date. An attorney can make the court appearance on her behalf if you retain an attorney to represent her.

From what you wrote, there may be factual and/or legal defenses to this situation. Her goal should be to avoid a conviction for a theft offense if at all possible. Let me know if you (and/or she) want to discuss it further.


Typically, the District Attorney will file a Misdemanor Criminal Complaint for Petty Theft.
Although a fine for this type of Misdemanor can range from $500 to $1,000, an experienced attorney should be able to have the DA offer a diversion program called Deferred Entry of Judgment where one would have to give a DNA sample, take a class, and pay about $200 fee for the classs. Once the class is completed and no new charges are filed for 90 days, then the DA will request a Dismissal of the criminal complaint.

It would be quite beneficial to meet with an attorney to discuss all of the facts and review any and all documents to determine if there is a valid defense in this matter to establish a dismissal without having to go through the Deferred Entry of Judgment Program.

If you would like more information concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact myself.

Richard Grant
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
(949) 582-9394

Legal disclaimer: Please note that this answer/response does not constitute legal advice of any kind or manner. It is merely intended to provide general information for purposes to aid the poster in finding answers to the question preseented. This answer/response does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind or manner.


I agree with my colleagues. You need to do everything possible to minimize the consequences for the petty theft. You need an attorney for this.
Yes she can travel- but get an attorney !!

Andrew Roberts
(818) 597-0633