Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

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408-246-3004

San Jose Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

cupertino shoplifting defense lawyer

Retail Theft Attorney Defending Clients in Sunnyvale, Saratoga, and Santa Clara County

Many people view shoplifting as a mere petty crime. However, if an individual is convicted of shoplifting, he or she can face serious repercussions depending upon the value of the stolen goods and if he or she was previously convicted of shoplifting. A shoplifting conviction can not only tarnish your record, but it can result in imprisonment and heavy fines. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, we defend our clients successfully and with commitment. If you are being charged with shoplifting or any form of retail theft, contact our office today so we can begin building a strong defense for you.

Penalties for Shoplifting and Retail Theft

In California, theft crimes are prosecuted as either petty theft or grand theft. When an individual is charged with petty theft, it means that he or she took money or property that is less than $950 in value. If the property exceeded $950, then the offender is guilty of grand theft. Individuals can be charged with petty or grand theft if they stole money, stole a car, shoplifted, or fraudulently obtained or used labor or services. Some of the retail theft laws and punishments for shoplifting are as follow:

  • Penal Code section 490: A first-time conviction of petty theft is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or by a prison term of up to 6 months.
  • Penal Code section 490.1: If the value of the retail items taken does not exceed $50, the offender may be charged with either a misdemeanor or an infraction if the offender was not previously convicted of theft. The offender may be fined up to $250.
  • Penal Code section 490.5(b): If an unemancipated minor steals merchandise from a store and the store owner or a store employee is injured by the minor's theft, then the injured person can sue the minor's parent or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian will be liable to the merchant for damages of up to $500. In addition, the parent or legal guardian will be liable for the condition of the merchandise if the items are returned damaged.
  • Penal Code section 490.5(c): Any adult or emancipated minor who steals merchandise will be liable to the retailer for damages of up to $500. The offenders will also be liable to the seller for the retail value of the items if they are not returned in their original condition.
  • Penal Code section 490.5(f)(1) and subdivision (2): If a merchant has probable cause for believing that a person stole or attempted to steal merchandise, then the merchant is legally allowed to temporarily detain the suspected person in order to conduct an investigation. The merchant may also use non-deadly force to keep the person detained and/or to protect him or herself.

Experienced Shoplifting Lawyer in Cupertino CA

If you are being charged with shoplifting, contact the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson. Attorney Erik Johnson has over 10 years of experience practicing criminal law. He will defend you against all shoplifting charges and strive to get the most lenient sentence possible for you. Call us at 408-246-3004, or contact us online. We defend clients in San Jose, Santa Clara County and the San Francisco bay area.

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