Common among youth and even adults, shoplifting is something many attempt as it is often a crime of opportunity. In some cases, it can become a compulsive problem. In the event you are caught and then charges are filed against you, you have to deal with the law and the court system. In California, the crime of shoplifting is Penal Code 459.PC; defined as entering an open business, with the intent to steal merchandise worth $950 or less. With that in mind, we at Ajua Bail Bonds would like discuss shoplifting in California.
Penal Code 459.5 PC Misdemeanor
As mentioned Penal Code 459.5 PC, is shoplifting, which a person is entering a commercial entity with the intent to commit larceny inside the commercial establishment during their regular business hours, where the property value does not exceed $950.00 whether it is taken, or intended to be taken. Any other intent to commit larceny after entering a commercial establishment is burglary. Generally, punishable as a misdemeanor, shoplifting can have harsher consequences if the defendant has one or more prior convictions for an offense. To simplify shoplifting, it is the intent to commit the crime of the petty theft after entering a commercial business.
Examples of Shoplifting Offenses
Created by the voter initiative Proposition 47 in 2014, the crime, of PC 459.5 shoplifting was defined prior, could have been defined as Penal Code 459 PC burglary. Below are a few scenarios that could lead to charges under California’s shoplifting law.
1) For instance two teenagers enter a convenient store where one plans to distract the cashier to allow the other one to lift merchandise from the shelves.
2) One person enters a store with the intent to buy one item and take other items and stash them on their person; in a backpack, pockets, and so forth.
3) A person knows there is a specified item in a specific store, and they deliberate go there to steal the item.
Shoplifting Penalties & Punishments
As previously mentioned, shoplifting is persecuted as a misdemeanor in California law for most defendants. Potential penalties are six months in county jail and/or fines up to $1000. However, shoplifting can be punishable as a California felony in the event you have certain serious prior convictions on your record. Such prior convictions include forcible sex crimes, or a sex related crime that requires you to become a registered offender, and homicide.
Shoplifting Legal Defense Strategy
With the help of an experienced and successful California defense attorney, you can find the most optimal legal defenses that are more useful for fighting the shoplifting charges. Some of the most common defenses:
– Police misconduct.
– Mistaken identity/false accusations.
– Lack of intent to steal.
Bail Bond Services in Selma & Fresno County, Atwater & Merced County, Visalia & Tulare County, Hanford & Kings County, Madera County and the Central Valley of California
When you have been arrested for shoplifting, time is essential. You will need to post bail as quickly as possible to ensure your personal life is in order and most importantly, you need to hire a defense attorney to help you achieve the best possible outcome. To expedite the bailing out process, call the experts of Ajua Bail Bonds today and let our experts get your bail posted and offer answers to your questions.