If the supermarket decides to charge you with theft, it will likely be a misdemeanor
theft charge against you.
The penalties for committing a petty theft under 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.8
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.
This would be if they did not dismiss the charge against you since you did not intend to steal the cream.