What are my chances of having a petty theft case dismissed and not on my record? 13 Answers as of February 11, 2011

I got caught for petty theft in los angeles, torrence area in a departmental store.
I am now charged with misdemeanor and required to attend court on 22 Mar.
This is my first offence, no previous records.

What are my chances of having this case dismissed and not on my record?

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Law Office of Marc K. Herbert
Law Office of Marc K. Herbert | Marc K. Herbert
Petty theft is a misdemeanor, but this charge may also be filed as felony commercial burglary if the DA thinks that he can prove that you planned to steal from the store before you entered it.

A dismissal depends on the evidence. If you were caught in the store and admitted to taking the item, the case will probably not be dismissed. If there is video surveillance inside the store, that evidence could also be used against you in Court.

Most likely, you will be offered some type of probation, with fines or community service instead of jail for a misdemeanor. If a felony is filed, you could receive an offer involving60 - 150 days of jail plus fines or community service. Based on your record, the terms of these offers should be improved for you.

Either way, once you finish the probation, you can file a Petition to have the plea withdrawn and the case dismissed.

If you want to talk about this case in more detail, please call my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/11/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
Need more information,. However, many courts and DA's do not give you a "free ride" because it is your first time. Depending on the value of the goods taken or attempted to be taken, you might see a reduction to an infraction.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
Depending on the circumstances, You may be able to participate in a petty theft diversion program. That program would call for the case to be dismissed following successful completion of an educational program and payment of a small fee. Accordingly, there would be no conviction on your record.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/8/2011
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
There maybe a good chance of getting it dismissed with an experienced attorney . There are factors which will determine the dismissal, those factors need to be discussed with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/7/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
If they have a good case against you the best you can hope for is a reduction to trespass.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/7/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    IF your lawyer negotiates with the DA you MIGHT be able to get it reduced to some sort of infraction which then is not on your record. But if you can't get an infraction do NOT plead straight up to a petty theft as not only will it go on your record but if you get busted for another petty in the future they can charge it as a felony if they want. It is called a Petty with a Prior.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
    You need to speak with a local attorney in L.A.. The local attorney will advise you on the particular practices in your area and whether you can have the case dismissed.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You should consult an attorney. Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, which looks bad on paper. Since you have no prior(s), an experienced defense attorney may be able to obtain some kind of reduction in charge through negotiations with the prosecutor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    To answer that question with a little more certainty, I would need some more specific details. For instance, what is the amount of the alleged item that was taken? Call me at 818-336-1384 to discuss in further detail. I have been successful in getting Petty theft charges dismissed, but would need to speak to you in further detail to give my opinion on your situation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can the case end up being dropped? Of course. Is that likely? No. The police and DA don't spend time and money arresting, charging and prosecuting cases only to drop them because you 'want' them to. That's not how the system works, obviously. IF there are valid defenses, facts, evidence, witnesses, sympathies, etc. that would allow an attorney to 'beat' the charges by keeping the prosecutor from proving the case as alleged, then, yes, the case could be won. Won through motions, won at trial, or won by negotiated plea or dismissal. You won't know until you consult with counsel with ALL the facts. If serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Srai Law Office
    Srai Law Office | Gurjit Singh Srai, Esq.
    The chance of your case being dismissed depends on several factors. First, if this is your first criminal case and you have no history, the DA might offer a plea and obey. Essentially, you will plea guilty to the charge but the case will be held for 6 months (or some other time). During this time you will be required to do some community service and provide proof of it. After the 6 months if you stay out of trouble the case will be dismissed. However, if this is a standard first the DA will probably want 2 days jail with fines. You should be able to do to the jail time on work project (picking up trash).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    Depending on your record, which you state is clean, you might be able to get into a theft diversion program. Upon completion the charge will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/7/2011
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