Okay, I understand -- the fact that your boyfriend has a prior conviction makes it more likely that he will get jail time in this case. If so and how much will depend on the exact circumstances of both the prior conviction and the current case. Some factors that will be important are:
The value of the property that was stolen in each case (the higher the value, the more serious the offense).
Who the victims were and whether they were particularly vulnerable (age, gender, relationship).
The places in which the thefts were committed (for example, theft from a private home would be more serious than shoplifting).
Whether or not there was a violation of a trust position (such as an employee stealing from an employer).
I was a deputy DA in Orange County, but that was a long time ago (I left the office in 1985), so I'm not sure what the current office policies are regarding thefts with priors. If both cases were minor, it might still be possible to avoid jail time. The more serious either or both of them are, however, the more likely it is that some jail time will be imposed.
If your husband does not have an attorney, he should consider consulting with one before he goes to the arraignment. If he cannot do that, he should go to the arraignment and request that it be continued so that he can consult with an attorney. The court
will generally grant a week or two continuance of the arraignment for that purpose. If the judge will not continue the arraignment, your husband should plead not guilty and decline to waive his right to a speedy trial
. The court will then set both trial
and pre-trial dates, which will give your husband time to consult with counsel.
If he cannot afford to retain private counsel, he should ask the court to appoint the public defender.