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Petty Theft with a Prior Offense

California Theft Crimes Attorney

Petty theft and shoplifting are illegal under California's Penal Code § 484. According to the law, "petty theft" refers to theft that involves property worth less than $950 dollars. The term "shoplifting" may sound like an insignificant crime, but even your first offense is subject to fines and incarceration. California Penal Code §666 states that certain theft offenses can result in stiffer penalties.

Prior offenses include:

  • Carjacking
  • Robbery
  • Burglary Grand theft auto
  • Grand theft
  • Felony receiving stolen property
  • Petty theft

Does California's "petty theft with a prior" apply to me?

In order to secure a conviction under CA Penal Code §666, the prosecution must be able to show that you were convicted of at least three theft offenses. This law may also apply if you are a registered sex offender under CA Penal Code §290 or you were convicted of a violent felony. Crimes listed under CA Penal Code §1192.7(c) and §667.5(c) are qualifying "serious" felonies.

What happens if the "petty theft with a prior" law applies to my case?

You could face a felony charge if CA Penal Code §666 applies to your case. If you were convicted of a prior, qualifying offense, petty theft becomes a "wobbler" - a crime that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor petty theft with a prior is punishable by one year in jail.

Felony petty theft with a prior is punishable by:

  • 16 months in a CA state prison,
  • Two years in a CA state prison,
  • Or three years in a CA state prison

Need a theft crimes attorney in California? Call Rodriguez Lewis & Kahn!

If you were arrested for petty theft, the legal team at Rodriguez Lewis & Kahn can help you avoid the harsh legal penalties associated with a conviction. When you work with us, you can have peace of mind knowing that an experienced team of legal advocates is on your side. Our California theft crime lawyers have more than seven decades of experience and are ready to put it to work for your case.

Get an online case evaluation today!


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.