As you are finding out, it will not be easy to find any kind of employment with a theft from your past employer on your record. Jobs are tough enough to find for qualified individuals but the offense goes to the very issue of trustworthiness, an essential qualification for employment.
But it is not impossible. There are employers who are willing to give second chances to people who have shown they recognize they made a serious error in judgment and have taken steps to prevent any future recidivism. If you have a probation officer, many have resources to refer probationers to companies who hire people with criminal records. Find out where the local state parole office is, they may have a list as well.
Some employers may want to see you have taken affirmative steps, such as working a program similar to Alcohol Anonymous, if you believe stealing is an addiction. You will probably have to show you are doing something to rehabilitate, other than simply giving your word you will never do it again.
Always be honest. Be persistent. Use all your connections. You will get a lot of rejections. Eventually, you should be able to find someone who is willing to give you a second chance.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
I am editing the Practice Area of your question to Criminal Law, as I believe the most prudent way to go about this would be to try to expunge the crime from your record. Apart from that, there is not much an employment attorney can do, other than to offer encouragement.
I wish you luck.
There is a way to clean this up somewhat - through a dismissal under Penal Code section 1203.4. It's commonly called an "expungement", but it doesn't really expunge anything or wipe it off your record.
If you have successfully completed probation (or your probation is terminated early by the judge at your request), you can apply for the dismissal. If granted, it will allow you to tell most private employers that you have not been convicted of the crime. It will still show up on an in-depth background check, but with a notation that it was subsequently dismissed. Employers are not supposed to used dismissed cases against you in hiring or promotional decisions.
The issue for you is getting off probation. I'm not sure I read your question correctly, but it sounds like you got 3 years probation and have only done 6 months.
In order to get an early termination of probation, you have to show "good cause" why they should let you off probation. The general rule of thumb is halfway through probation is a reasonable period of time to apply, but that's just a guideline. If you have compelling reasons, you may be able to get an even earlier termination.
This is not going to be a do-it-yourself project though. A local criminal defense attorney that routinely practices in the court where your case was should be able to help you draft your motion with supporting documentation for a reasonable fee if you want to pursue this.
You might try the Temporary Agencies. They put warm bodies into manufacturing, assembly, machinist, and other manual labor positions depending on changing personnel needs of companies. Once you have a work history, it makes it easier to get more work.
Just be glad that you did not pick up a Felony; that closes even more doors.
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I'm sorry for the situation you are now in. As you are now finding out, long term consequences can play a significant role in a decision to plea guilty at an Arraignment hearing. Many people mistakenly believe that the only reason to hire an attorney is to try to have the case dismissed. That is simply not the case. While dismissal is the ultimate goal in many situations, damage control is another important consideration. In your scenario, at least having the services of the public defender may have help negotiate a reduced charge to something that may not affect employment in the future.
Unfortunately, what's done is done. I would just recommend, as the others have, that you try to file an "expungement" as soon as you are eligible. With that, I would also recommend that you hire an attorney to do it for you, to give you the best chance to have it granted.