Thank you for your patience and your question. As we have discussed, i have to sleep sometimes, and sometimes have to be away from the computer and can't answer right away. I appreciate your "Great Service!" rating on this question. We've been at it for some days now. :) Yes you can certainly ask your lawyer for a fine only. It may not be possible. The problem is that I can't tell you just what you want to hear but what is the truth about your situation. I am really sorry if my responses are not pleasing in their content. It is very important that we tell you the truth. Your lawyer, in the case that you have, is the most important ally you have, and has no doubt seen the police reports
, and knows what this particular judge will do. I hope this answer helps you understand what is going on, and I hope that you keep communicating until you have the answers you need. Good luck. Let me know. Thanks.
I recommend you keep talking to your lawyer that has the case until you get the legal advice you need from him or her. She or he has the exact information about your exact case.
Here, we can only tell you more general information.
It is important to have a lawyer there with you so that they can work out the details that we don't have here.
The law generally is this:
Petty Theft With a Prior Under Penal Code 666
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:
- A maximum one-year county jail sentence (if the charge was filed as a misdemeanor), or
This is if your first case was a misdemeanor.
If your lawyer can convince the judge and DA that this case should be treated as a first offense, then you are looking at this law:
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:
- Repay the value of the merchandise which you allegedly stole;
- Complete an agreed to number of community service hours; and/or
- Attend anti-theft classes.
Let me know if this helps.