Yes of course, this is a theft crime and the conviction of a theft crime will have a serious effect on your future employment, etc.. You need to get an attorney to represent you for this matter. Don not be fooled by the label of "Petty" theft!
Theft convictions--any convictions, for that matter--can affect immigration, employment, licensing and a host of other areas of your life. Get an attorney if you are able. Van Nuys is a tough place to be without counsel.
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Yes - theft is a crime of moral turpitude. It can haunt you for a long time.
Andrew Roberts (818) 597-0633/ (805) 496-7777