Petty Theft Misdemeanors
Theft is when a person takes someone else's property with the plan to permanently keep it from them. There are two different classifications for theft dependant on the value, type of property and how it was stolen. They are Grand Theft and Petty Theft.
When caught for theft the first question the court will determine is what the total value of the items take was. If it is less than four hundred dollars it is usually classified as petty theft. Petty theft is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to a maximum of six months in a county jail.
Can be Robbery
A petty theft crime which is charged as a misdemeanor may seem easy and inexpensive. It is imperative to try and protect your rights because this charge will follow you. It not only shows weakness from what may have been one bad choice in the past but it can inhibit you from certain jobs and when obtaining a new residence. If you have future occurrences with breaking laws, judges will and can take into account any of your past charges when determining what range to fine you and how long to sentence you for.
If you are caught and charged for a second petty theft, they can charge you with what is considered petty theft with a prior. This can be charged as a misdemeanor which can carry a sentence of up to one year in the county jail or it can be charged as a felony and have up to three years in prison.
What to do if you are suspected of petty theft
You can contact your local legal aid clinic to find out additional information on the process and enable you to understand your rights. Make sure to contact a local professional who is aggressively ready to defend your rights and has real life practice with your type of situation. They may be able to get your fines reduced and keep you from doing jail time if you are charged with a misdemeanor. Or they may be able to have your charges reduced to an infraction which is a minor violation of a law with only a fine imposed or even have your case dismissed.
Appealing the charge