You can face serious criminal charges if you are accused of shoplifting in Santa Clarita, CA. Shoplifting will be prosecuted as a theft crime by the court system. You can end up facing fines and time in jail if you are convicted of shoplifting in California.
Take proactive steps to build your defense right now by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Reach out to our shoplifting lawyers in Santa Clarita easily by calling (310) 997-4688. We are standing by to build your defense and help you handle all legal hurdles you may face.
Let’s Define Shoplifting in Santa Clarita
As we mentioned, shoplifting is a criminal act in Santa Clarita. Technically, shoplifting is defined as a theft crime. You may be charged with shoplifting if you:
- Enter a place of business
- During business hours
- With the intent to carry out larceny
You may not be familiar with the term “larceny.” Larceny is simply another term used to describe acts of theft. Simply put, you can be charged with shoplifting if you enter an open business and try to leave with an item without paying for it.
Shoplifting vs. Burglary in Santa Clarita
Shoplifting charges are sometimes compared to the crime of burglary. However, these charges represent two different criminal acts. Individuals shoplift if they enter an open business while intending to commit a theft. Burglary charges may be used if someone:
- Enters a business
- With the intent to steal something or commit a felony
As you can see, this description closely matches that of shoplifting. In some cases, the prosecution has some lee-way in deciding if you will be charged with shoplifting or burglary. Burglary charges are often used for the theft of items valued over $950, but this is not always the case.
Additionally, you may be more likely to be charged with burglary if you enter a business after hours to commit an act of theft. A criminal defense lawyer in Santa Clarita can help you learn more about burglary charges. Just call (310) 997-4688 to get answers to your legal questions.
Repercussions for a Santa Clarita Shoplifting Conviction
Shoplifting may be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony in the state of California. If you are facing a first-time shoplifting accusation, you should only be charged with a misdemeanor. Convictions for misdemeanor shoplifting can lead to:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to six months in jail
Felony convictions for shoplifting are handled more harshly. You could face felony charges if you were previously found guilty of a violent felony or certain sex crimes in Santa Clarita. Felony charges for shoplifting may lead to:
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to three years in prison
Getting help right away from a theft crimes lawyer in Santa Clarita can improve your odds of successfully resolving a shoplifting accusation. Get the professional advice you need if you were charged with misdemeanors or felony shoplifting.
Your Legal Options for Handling a Shoplifting Charge
Here at the Simmrin Law Group, we believe in providing personalized assistance to clients in your situation. We can investigate the facts of your case in order to develop a plan for your defense. We may be able to:
Get Your Charges Dismissed
Sometimes, the court system may dismiss shoplifting charges if there is not sufficient evidence against you. We may be able to block evidence used by the prosecution, especially if your rights were violated by police officers during their investigation.
Get Your Charges Reduced
Many shoplifting cases are resolved through plea bargaining. A plea bargain requires you to admit guilt to a less severe crime in exchange for lowered penalties. Your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors for you to secure a fair plea bargain.
Fight for You in Court
Shoplifting cases in Santa Clarita sometimes go all the way to court. The Simmrin Law Group can defend you in the courtroom. We understand the defenses that work for shoplifting charges. We may be able to argue that:
- You accidentally took items that did not belong to you
- You only took items that you purchased
- You were falsely accused of shoplifting
Build a Defense with a Santa Clarita Shoplifting Lawyer
Get professional help in your corner if you are accused of shoplifting in Santa Clarita. Contact the Simmrin Law Group when you need help the most to begin working on your defense. Reach out to us today so that we can provide you with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Call (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to speak to a shoplifting lawyer in Santa Clarita.