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Misdemeanor petty theft JC Penney. - San Diego

San Diego, CA |

Im 19 years old and the total ended up being $84. I signed papers in the store and was released after 3 hours because the police department was too busy at the time.

The next day I got a call from the police station asking me to stop by and talk to them so that they could get my side of the story. Once I got there, I spoke to an officer and he told me that I could leave at any time. I decided to stay and tell him my side of the story because I thought it was the best choice at the time. He was very helpful and gave me some information on what might happen. He said I was not arrested or will not go to jail.
My Q's are..

1. How can I get this off my record?
2. I cannot afford an attorney, so how can I get one?
3. Will the court notify my current job about this current situation?

To add on... JC Penney also said they will be sending my something in the mail. I have a feeling that it is going to be a fine from the store. 4. Do I have to pay this fine? 5. And how much would be the estimate of my court fine for a misdemeanor petty theft be? I've never gone to court before, so I don't know what to expect. It was a VERY stupid thing that I have done and I am truly sorry. I have not been sleeping or eating good every since the situation happened. I don't want this misdemeanor to ruin my future especially with my possible career in fashion.

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Attorney answers 5


It is vital that you hire an attorney if it all possible. If you cannot afford one you will be provided with the public defender. However, getting a favorable resolution will require getting into the details of the case… Details that a well-meaning but overworked public defender may have a tough time finding . I would find an attorney who gives a free case evaluation to see what your options are.

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply


1. You don't have a record right now. You have t been arrested or charged with a crime. If you eventually are charged and convicted you can rxounge your record once you get off probation. Look up penal code 1202.4.

2. Public defender. Private counsel don't work for free.

3. No.


Were you given a court date? If not, there may not be any danger of having anything on your record. Speak to an attorney to discuss your case. It is not a good idea to share anything additional about the case online, even though you have already given a statement. Talk to an attorney ASAP to best protect your future. Best of luck to you.


almost equally as foolish as stealing was when you went to speak to the police without an attorney. You can continue to do this your way and make mistake after mistake, or you can hire yourself an experienced criminal defense attorney who can attempt to mitigate some of the damage already done.

1) Since you weren't arrested there is likely not an arrest record. There may be a court case though if the prosecutor files criminal charges against you.
2) Assuming charges are filed against you, an attorney from the public defender's office will be appointed to represent you at your first court date.
3) Highly unlikely


If you were not given a citation or a notice for a Court date, there is nothing filed, no arrest and no case. However, the D.A. has 1 year to file charges on a misdemeanor, so you could get a "notify letter" in the mail advising you of the charges and a Court date. When you go to Court, you will be screened to see if you are indigent and qualify for appointment of the public defender. They will then have acces to the reports and can advise you as to possible resolutions of your case. No one will notify your work.

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