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Penalties for Shoplifting in Orange County

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

Shoplifting is a common crime that occurs all over the country, and Orange County is no exception. While it may seem like a minor offense, shoplifting can have severe consequences that can impact your life in many ways. If you find yourself facing charges of shoplifting, talk to an Orange County criminal defense lawyer for legal guidance.

Understanding Shoplifting Laws

In California, shoplifting is a theft crime. It involves taking merchandise from a store without paying for it or any attempt to pay. Shoplifting can range from minor theft, such as concealment of items, to more serious offenses like robbery. The severity of the offense depends on various factors.

Misdemeanor Shoplifting Penalties

For those charged with misdemeanor shoplifting in Orange County, the penalties can include:

  • Fines: Shoplifting a small value of items (up to $950) can result in fines up to $1,000.
  • Probation: Offenders may be placed on probation for up to three years, during which they must comply with certain conditions, such as regular meetings with a probation officer and completing community service.
  • Shoplifting education program: First-time offenders may be required to complete an education program designed to prevent future offenses.
  • Restitution: The court may order the offender to pay restitution to the store owner for the value of the stolen items.

Felony Shoplifting Penalties

While most shoplifting cases are treated as misdemeanors, certain circumstances can elevate the charge to a felony. These circumstances include:

  • Prior convictions: If an individual has prior convictions for theft-related offenses, a subsequent shoplifting offense can be charged as a felony.
  • Violent behavior: If the suspect uses force, threatens violence, or is armed during the commission of the crime, they may face felony charges.

Felony shoplifting penalties can include:

  • Incarceration: A felony shoplifting conviction can lead to imprisonment in county jail for up to three years.
  • Enhanced fines: The fines for felony shoplifting can be significantly higher than those for misdemeanor offenses, reaching amounts of up to $10,000.
  • Lengthy probation: Felony shoplifting convictions may result in extended probation periods of up to five years.
  • Restitution: Similar to misdemeanor charges, felony convictions may include orders to pay restitution to the store owner.

How Hiring an Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Here are some reasons why hiring an Orange County criminal defense lawyer is in your best interest:

  • Deep understanding of the law: An experienced lawyer will have a comprehensive understanding of the shoplifting laws in Orange County.
  • Legal guidance and support: Your lawyer will guide you through each step of the process, explaining your options, and helping you make informed decisions.
  • Defense strategy: Your lawyer will analyze the evidence against you and develop a solid defense strategy to challenge the prosecution’s case.
  • Reduced charges or alternative resolutions: A skilled lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges reduced or dismissed altogether. Alternatively, they may explore alternative resolutions, such as diversion programs or community service.

We Are Your Trusted Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Law Offices of William Bruzzo is here to provide you with the strategic guidance and strong advocacy. Our Orange County criminal defense attorneys are here to protect your rights and future. To schedule free legal consultation today, contact our offices now.

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