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Once, shoplifting would result in felony charges with severe consequences, including burglary charges and time spent in prison. Under Proposition 47, however, shoplifting now is a misdemeanor offense with much more lenient penalties. However, shoplifting still has the potential to create a criminal record and requires the experience of a seasoned attorney to successfully fight a charge.

An Alameda shoplifting lawyer could evaluate your situation, raise appropriate defenses, and work to reach an acceptable resolution in your case. With legal representation, you may be in a better position to achieve a favorable outcome. Legal counsel could be instrumental in protecting your rights and obtaining the best results possible.

What is Shoplifting?

State law establishes shoplifting as an offense separate from theft or larceny. Under California Penal Code § 459.5, shoplifting occurs when individuals enter a store or business:

  • With the intent to commit theft
  • While the store or business is open for its regular business hours
  • The value of the property that the individuals take or intend to take is less than $950

Larceny or theft under Cal. Pen. Code § 484 defines theft as stealing or taking the personal property of others, in the context of shoplifting. Under any other circumstances, entering a business or commercial establishment to commit theft constitutes burglary. If individuals are facing shoplifting charges, however, they cannot face burglary charges arising out of the same incident.

Intent to Commit Shoplifting

The law does not require individuals to steal merchandise or remove the items from the store or business. If the individuals had the intent to steal upon entering the store, even if they did not complete the act of shoplifting, they could face a shoplifting charge and a potential conviction. A shoplifting lawyer in Alameda may be able to examine the circumstances and weigh whether there is adequate evidence of intent in a specific case.

Penalties for Alameda Shoplifting

If the value of the property involved in the crime has a value between $50 and $950, individuals can face up to six months in jail, probation, and $1,000 in fines. If the cost of the property is less than $50, however, the charge can be an infraction or a misdemeanor, with a maximum fine of $250.

When is Shoplifting a Felony Offense?

Some shoplifting offenses can still be charged as felonies, however. If individuals have specific prior convictions, they can face felony shoplifting charges, which carry the potential for harsher penalties.

These prior convictions include convictions for any crime that requires individuals to register as sex offenders and convictions for felony crimes punishable by death or life in prison. Other qualifying convictions include those for various murder offenses, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, assault with a machine gun on a police officer, or firefighter. Another conviction includes possession of a weapon of mass destruction. An Alameda attorney could fight for a less severe penalty for a shoplifting offense.

Consult with an Alameda Shoplifting Attorney Today

Shoplifting is a crime that creates a permanent criminal record, which will appear on any background checks you must undergo. An Alameda shoplifting lawyer may be able to determine the best defense strategy for your case if you are facing shoplifting charges.

Additionally, you still may face jail time for shoplifting. To avoid these and other unwanted consequences, you should schedule a consultation right away.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

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When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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