What am I looking at if I was caught shoplifting? 9 Answers as of March 13, 2014

I recently got caught shoplifting. The total amount of merchandise I had on hand that day was I believe $325-$375, but they recognized me from previous encounters and had me write down all the items I could remember that I have stolen in the past. The total plus what I took that day ended up being $600, which I have to pay back in payments to the store. I know that $500 or more is a felony but I'm wondering if they will only account for the $325-$375 or the total amount of merchandise. I can return some of the merchandise that's in selling condition so I don't have to pay back the $600. So I'm a bit confused on what my charge is going to be. This is my first offense and I have yet to meet with my lawyer but I can't stop worrying. Hopefully somebody can help me because I have never been in trouble with the law before. I'm going into this blind.

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Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Shoplifting items of a value of less than $950.00 is petty theft. The first three times a person is convicted of petty theft it is a misdemeanor. However, if the amount stolen is worth $50.00 or less it may be charged as an infraction. If you have three or more priors for petty theft, the next one can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Infractions are punished by a fine. Misdemeanors are punished by up to one year in the county jail and/or up to a $1,000.00 fine. Felonies are punished by sixteen months, two years, or three years in state prison. The normal punishment for first time petty theft is three years summary probation, a fine, community service, theft classes, and restitution to the victim.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/13/2014
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and if convicted you can kiss your career aspirations goodbye. Hire a lawyer before you get duped into a plea you will regret for life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/13/2014
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
You need to get a lawyer in the hope that you can have the charges dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 3/13/2014
Torni Gaudenzi Law, PLLC
Torni Gaudenzi Law, PLLC | Tracy Torni Gaudenzi
You should speak with a local criminal defense attorney. Do not contact the store or speak to the police or make any further statements. The additional statements that were made regarding the other items may be in violation of your miranda rights. In Michigan, some courts/prosecutors allow for a diversion program for 1st offenses or depending on your age, you may qualify for HYTA. Speak to an attorney right away for help.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/13/2014
Law Office of Kevin S. Sullivan | Kevin S. Sullivan
You are looking at being charged with a misdemeanor count of P.C. 484 (Petty Theft) unless you have a prior theft offense which would make it a felony. If you have no priors your attorney would be looking to arrange either a deferred entry of judgment plea or a reduction to a different charge or an infraction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/13/2014
    Law Offices of Naser J. Khoury
    Law Offices of Naser J. Khoury | NASER J KHOURY
    The dollar amount has been increased to $950.00 and would still be considered a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of shoplifting a violation of California Penal Code Section 484(a), (commonly known as petty theft) you could face up to 6 months in the count jail, a fine or both. Assuming this would be your first arrest and conviction. This type of offense is a prior able offense and punishment increases with each and every time you commit the same type of offense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Get with your lawyer, tell the whole truth, then listen and follow his advice. Do not speak with anyone about this matter until then.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/13/2014
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Thieves always have to worry. So, worrying will be a normal part of your life because you are a thief.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/13/2014
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