Everything You Need to Know about Petty Theft Charges
While petty theft may appear to be, well, petty, the charges for petty theft can be serious. We’ll go over everything you might not know about petty theft charges, and we’ll help you take the next steps if you’re charged with petty theft.
What is Petty Theft?
Petty theft is usually defined as the unlawful taking of property worth less than $1,000, and it is often confused with larceny. For example, if someone tries to keep another kid’s wallet without intending to return it, that is lARCeny.
Crimes that Can Earn a Petty Theft Charge
Petty theft crimes include things like shoplifting or stealing items from a store, eating and running or not paying for food you’ve eaten at a restaurant, and watching a movie in a theater without paying for a ticket.
Types of Criminal Charges for Petty Theft
Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depends on your criminal record. For first-time offenders, petty theft is usually classified as a misdemeanor. Felony charges are difficult to erase from criminal records, and employers will usually see them when conducting background checks on new employees.
Things that Impact a Petty Theft Charge
Petty theft is defined in California as the unlawful taking of someone’s property for less than $950, and the prosecution must prove certain things to obtain a conviction. In this case, you may only be charged with an infraction, depending on the state. Each state’s penal code affects charges for different petty thefts.
A petty theft charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the nature of the crime and the perpetrator’s criminal record. If you’re a first-time offender, your charges will likely be less severe; if you’ve committed numerous felonies, your charges may be more serious.
What to do if You Get Charged with Petty Theft
A criminal defense lawyer can assist you in defending yourself against petty theft charges, and you have the right to request one if you cannot afford one. Your lawyer may be able to speak on your behalf in court and help prove you don’t deserve the charges.
Things a Petty Theft Conviction Can Affect
If you have a criminal record, you may be unable to enroll in certain schools or educational programs, as well as obtain certifications or licenses for your profession. You may also be unable to qualify for loans and other housing documents.
Frequently Asked Questions
It may seem like a simple question to direct to your criminal defense attorney. Penalties for different types of theft cases vary by state. For first-time offenders, your judge may offer a diversion program; however, if someone receives a third petty theft conviction, they will face mandatory prison time. Criminal defense lawyers charge on a flat fee basis.
Petty theft crimes are typically minor offenses, but if you don’t think twice before acting, they can lead to serious consequences.
Will Petty Theft keep me from getting a job?
It most certainly can; most employers, including McDonald’s, conduct background checks, and if they find any kind of criminal record, they will often refuse to hire you.
Does petty theft show up on background checks?
If you were arrested for petty theft but never convicted of the crime for which you were arrested, your arrest will remain on your permanent criminal record for the rest of your life.
Will Walmart hire me with a misdemeanor theft?
People who have been charged with theft will be turned down for jobs that require access to desirable property, and it is legal for Walmart to refuse to hire you based on your criminal history.
Does shoplifting affect employment?
Most employers conduct background checks Employers are most interested if you have been charged with a crime of theft, violence, or addiction; according to one study, 50% of job applicants who have a charge or conviction on their application will not be interviewed.
Should I get a lawyer for petty theft?
In addition to increasing your chances of avoiding a petty theft conviction on your record and the associated collateral consequences, hiring an experienced attorney for your petty theft case allows you to avoid each of the numerous appearances in criminal court while your case is pending.
Does a misdemeanor ruin your life?
A misdemeanor stays on your record for the rest of your life unless you successfully petition for expungement; misdemeanor offenses have no set “expiration date.” Although misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies, they are still serious violations in the eyes of the law.
How can a shoplifting charge be dismissed?
Shoplifting charges can be dismissed or reduced to lesser, non-theft offenses through a variety of plea bargains negotiated by a defense attorney. If this is your first offense and you have no prior criminal history, your charges can be dismissed through a deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) or diversion program.
Do employers care about misdemeanors?
Employers in California are still prohibited from asking about or considering criminal convictions that have been expunged, and this prohibition applies to both felony and misdemeanor charges.
Does target hire misdemeanor theft?
No, they are very picky; they will hire you if you have some sense of hard work ethics, but they will see you as a bad apple to their company if you have any type of criminal background.
Will Starbucks hire someone with a misdemeanor?
Does Starbucks Hire People With Misdemeanors? Yes, Starbucks does hire people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor.
What disqualifies you from working at Walmart?
u2013 Most locations will only consider you if your felony occurred at least 7 years ago. u2013 If you have committed theft, burglary, or violent crimes, you will most likely not be offered employment at Walmart; if this applies to you, see what other jobs you may be eligible for here.
Can shoplifting ruin your life?
A charge of petit theft or shoplifting is unlikely to ruin your life, but it may make certain aspects of it difficult. Any employer who conducts a background check will be put off by someone who has a history of theft.
Do Walmart employees steal?
Register operators, stock associates, and even managers steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the companies that provide them with a paycheck on a daily basis from their Walmart, Target, or Kmart stores, stealing from the companies that provide them with a paycheck.
Will shoplifting affect citizenship?
If you have a conviction for shoplifting, for example, and apply for naturalization before your arrest is outside the GMC period, your application will almost certainly be denied.