Skip to main content

PC 459 CA criminal code, stealing, possible punishment for first time offender?

Riverside, CA |

I am a first-time offender and the officer charged my friend and me with PC 459 for stealing inside a Walmart. The items stolen were in the range of $100. What is the likely punishment for a first-time offender?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 4


The offense could be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor.

Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer can review your case with you and determine the best outcome for you. If you cannot afford to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, ask for a public defender to be appointed when you get to court.


You are being charged with 2nd degree burglary. The charge can be punished at either a felony or a misdemeanor.

Additionally, a settlement with the prosecution could result in a misdemeanor charge of petty theft. Before you worry about what the likely punishment is going to be, you need to find out what charge you can settle this case for. Only an experienced attorney can assist you. If you have a public defender, make an appointment and see your attorney as soon as possible so your options can be explained.

If you don't have a public defender, run--don't walk--to hire a private, experienced attorney. The choices you make here will affect the rest of your life.


The answers posted are correct, and excellent. They are correct because you asked what the likely punishment is, and a lawyer can only tell you this after careful review of the case. It is noteworthy, however, that the maximum punishments are as follows:

Misdemeanor: 1 year in county jail.
Felony: 16 months - 2 years - years; state prison as the lower, middle, and upper terms.

Again, as a first offender, you will not get anywhere near this. But, it is important to know.


Keith J. Bruno



I just turned 18 and am being charges with 3 felonys. i thought my case had been closed after talking with the household owners but i just received a notice for an arraignment which had the title: people v. (my name). i dont what my question is but im looking for a little advice or something from anybody. Thanks for taking time to read this.


As others have stated, it could be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. In either case, your friend’s lawyer needs to review the entire case to determine what the possible punishment might be.