Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
I am happy to respond to your question. I would ask that, since you are a "Night Owl" and like to work in what is for me sleeping time, that you wait a little before you rate me as non-responsive. I'm a human and have to sleep, so I hope that's OK with you.
Now for your new question: As we say in life, anything is possible. I am thinking that it would be normal for you not to go to jail but to have community service, depending on the court. Many courts are so full and the jails are so full they don't want to put people in them except for more serious crimes.
So, that is why I think you might just get the community service.
It is really important that you speak with a lawyer, that you have a lawyer represent you in court. That way you can get the best possible result.
Does that answer your question? Please let me know and give me a chance to answer before you rate me negatively.
Thanks very much.
Just as there is an upside to being charged with a first-offense shoplifting offense, there is a downside to being convicted of petty theft if you have suffered a prior theft-related conviction for which you were incarcerated.
If that is the case, under California Penal Code 666 "Petty Theft with a Prior", you may face:
California Penal Code 484 & Penal Code 488 typically include a maximum of three years of informal probation, up to six months in a county jail, and/or a maximum $1,000 fine.
But, if this is your first California petty theft charge (and you have no other theft or "theft-related" convictions), and the value of the money, property, services, etc. that you allegedly stole was $50 or less, your California petty theft attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor to reduce your charge to an infraction. If your case is reduced, you face a maximum $250 fine.
If it is your first theft or "theft-related" offense, but the item(s) exceeded $50, you may be able to participate in a diversion program. Informal diversion is a type of "deal" that your California shoplifting defense attorney may be able to make with the prosecution.
In exchange for a dismissed charge, you may be required to do any or all of the following:
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