What should I expect if I was cited for petty theft? 8 Answers as of June 17, 2011

I was cited yesterday for petty theft at a Wal-Mart in CA. I was with another girl and a guy. We were shopping and the girl took some things from the store and put them in her purse without me and the guy seeing. She asked me to hold her purse and after we purchased our items and proceeded to leave the store. We got stopped outside and they asked me to open the purse. There were several things in the purse including two DVD’s and some makeup. She also had some items in her pocket as well. We both were taken inside and security called the police. I have a prior from 2009 in a different county, but have not committed any petty theft crimes since then. The girl is under 18, however I am over 18. What will happen to me and if I get a lawyer, will charges be reduced/dropped?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Every case is unique. Your prior record, the fact that you were with a minor and the facts of the case are all to be considered. You need a good attorney to negotiate the best plea bargain. There is no way to predict what that will be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
based upon the fact that you gave me the charges should be dropped or at least reduce if you hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/15/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
You for sure face misdemeanor charges. With more than one person involved, many DAs will charge felony conspiracy. Youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. The DA can amend at any time he feels he can prove additional or different charges. If you have priors, they are penalty enhancements. Of course you can fight it. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict and jail you. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/15/2011
Law Office of Andrew Roberts
Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
You need an attorney to deal with this. Potentially you can be convicted of the misdemeanor and be sentenced to the county jail- this being your second offense.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Lowenstein Law Office
Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
You will go through the regular criminal procedure for petty theft and other misdemeanors. For more information, please see my website or call me for a legal consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    This could be very serious. In California if you have a prior petty theft, you could be charged with Penal Code 666 (Petty theft with prior) as a felony. You could also be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. You need to speak to a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    You should hire an attorney as soon as possible. The fact that you have a prior theft conviction only makes matters worse for you. If what you claim is correct you have some possible defences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You are facing something very serious, as a petty theft with a prior can be a felony at the discretion of the prosecutor. Time to hire a lawyer or face potential state prison!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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