Woman Stealing Clothes From Store

Shoplifting Charges in California 

McCready Law Group Oct. 4, 2022

According to the Crime in California report, there were 541,368 total larceny-theft arrests statewide in 2021. In the state of California, it is an offense to enter an open business and steal an item. A defendant convicted of shoplifting could be facing possible fines, imprisonment, a criminal record, and other severe ramifications. If you have been arrested and charged with shoplifting, hiring a skilled California criminal defense attorney is crucial to help build your defense strategy. 

For more than 14 years, I have been handling criminal cases and defending individuals accused of shoplifting. As your legal counsel, I can investigate every detail of your case and strategize a strong defense in pursuit of the most favorable outcome. Everyone deserves to have their rights protected. 

My firm—McCready Law Group—is proud to serve clients across Long Beach, California, and the surrounding areas of Lakewood and Cypress Hill. 

Shoplifting Charges Under California Law 

Shoplifting is a criminal offense that involves stealing merchandise from a business, store, or commercial establishment without paying for the goods. According to California law, shoplifting can be described as: 

Entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950). 

Some common examples of shoplifting in California include: 

  • Stealing a necklace worth $600 from a jewelry store 

  • Stealing products from a convenience store for personal use 

  • Hiding an item in your bag and taking it out of the store without paying 

  • Pocketing a pack of gum from a store 

If you or someone you know has recently been arrested and charged with shoplifting, you need to reach out to a dependable criminal defense attorney immediately. Your legal counsel can educate you about the nature and seriousness of your charges as well as the potential penalties. 

Possible Penalties 

Shoplifting in California may be charged and punished as a misdemeanor larceny or theft offense. If convicted, the possible penalties include: 

  • Huge fines 

  • Jail time (ranging from months or even years) 

  • Restitution to the commercial establishment 

  • Criminal record 

  • Community service 

  • Probation 

  • Mandatory anti-theft classes 

Some other life-long consequences of a shoplifting conviction may include: 

  • Increased difficulty in securing government assistance 

  • Increased difficulty in getting accommodation, scholarships, and employment 

  • Loss of rights to vote during elections 

  • Loss of rights to possess or carry a firearm 

  • Ineligibility to obtain certain financial loans 

  • Increased difficulty in traveling to other countries 

A trusted California theft defense lawyer can identify possible defenses to your shoplifting charges and help ensure that you do not suffer the devastating penalties of a criminal conviction. 

Common Shoplifting Defenses 

When facing false shoplifting accusations, your attorney can help fight those charges using any of these legal defenses and more: 

  • No intention to steal the property 

  • Falsely accused of shoplifting 

  • Entrapment 

  • Borrowed the merchandise from the retail business and intends to return it 

  • You acted with the shop owner's consent 

An experienced attorney can outline several legal strategies to help fight your charges and attempt to keep your record as clean as possible. 

Trusted Guidance When You Need It Most  

The burden of a shoplifting charge can be overwhelming and can jeopardize your personal reputation and future opportunities. Defending those shoplifting allegations without reliable representation could increase your risk of suffering maximum penalties. When facing shoplifting charges, it is imperative that you retain a skilled criminal defense attorney for trusted legal guidance. 

At McCready Law Group, I'm committed to providing personalized guidance and aggressive representation to clients in their shoplifting cases. As your attorney, I will evaluate every fact surrounding your unique situation and determine the best defense to help fight your charges. I will help you navigate the California criminal justice system and make sure you're given a fair hearing. Ultimately, having me on your side can improve your chances of getting the best possible outcome in your case. 

Facing shoplifting charges can be frightening. Don't face these charges alone. Contact me at McCready Law Group today to schedule a case evaluation. I can represent you vigorously in every phase of the legal process and make sure those accusations don't ruin your life. My firm is proud to represent clients across Long Beach, Lakewood, Cypress Hill, and the rest of California.

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