Shoplifting and Theft Charges in California

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Theft and Shoplifting Charges

California Penal Code Sections 484 – 488

Theft and shoplifting are the most commonly prosecuted property crimes in California. Also known as commercial burglary, shoplifting it is the act of stealing merchandise or property from a retail establishment.

While most of these crimes are committed by one time offenders, there are individuals and even groups who commit these crimes for a living.

Bail amounts for shoplifters are often low, but they can vary depending on the value of the stolen goods and whether or not the arrestee has any prior convictions.

Regardless of the amount, SCV Bail Bonds can provide bail bond assistance for shoplifting and theft charges in California.

Call SCV Bail Bonds now toll-free, nationwide at:  877-422-4591 (877 4 BAIL 911).

We believe that sometimes in life, we may do things we later regret. If a lapse in judgment landed you or someone you know in hot water, we can help.

We post bail 24/7 to all jails throughout Southern CaliforniaVentura County and anywhere within the entire State of California. We are knowledgeable about theft and shoplifting charges.

When you call us, we’ll ask a few quick questions about the defendant. We’ll then send you our easy application and contract by fax, email or online at our website. Additionally, we can meet at your home, office, our office or directly at the jail where the defendant is being held in custody.

Our consultations are always free and we offer payment plans to suit every budget.

Overview of California Shoplifting and Theft Laws

California law defines theft as the unlawful taking of another’s property. Petty theft (shoplifting) charges are brought against an arrestee if the property is valued at $950 or less. The crime (which is most commonly based on a shoplifting offense) can be committed in one of four ways:

      • Larceny (stealing and carrying away property without the owner’s consent).
      • Tricking the seller (like changing the price tag on an item)
      • Embezzlement (when you decide to steal something entrusted to you, like taking store merchandise that you were supposed to put on display).
      • False pretenses (lying to obtain possession of the merchandise).

These charges all fall under “theft” in California Penal Codes 484 PC and 488 PC.

According to the law, it doesn’t even matter how or why a person committed these crimes. Even if a person completely remove the alleged stolen item from its owner (like walking out of a store) or carry it a significant distance, they may still be accused if just cause can be proven.

Bail Amounts for Theft and Shoplifting

Bail amounts are set according to each California County’s Bail Schedule so they may vary. A judge can also set bail at or above the amount of the theft in high dollar cases.

Penalties and Sentences for Theft and Shoplifting

The penalties for committing a petty theft under California Penal Code 484 & Penal Code 488 can go from three years of informal probation, up to six months in a county jail, and/or a maximum $1,000 fine.

Shoplifting is always a misdemeanor. Grand theft, however, may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. A conviction for grand theft generally involves a sentence of up to one year in county jail or even an increased sentence if the defendant has a prior criminal record, has been involved in similar criminal activities, or if the stolen property exceeds $65,000..

Call Us 24 Hours for Bail Assistance For Theft or Shoplifting Charges

Did you know that the parent or legal guardian of a minor who shoplifts, may also be liable, along with the minor, for the crime? In addition, they are jointly liable to the merchant for the full retail value of the stolen goods!

If you find yourself in this situation because your child has been arrested, or if you or someone who is an adult is taken into custody for theft or shoplifting, we can help you post bail.

We offer our clients flexible payment options and always treat each one with respect, dignity and privacy.

We are happy to answer any of your questions about these, or any other bail-related matters. We are professionally licensed bail bondsmen, Accredited members of the Better Business Bureau and proud members of the California Bail Agents Association. See why choosing us can make all the difference to you and your family at this time.

Read more about bail options on our bail articles and information page.

SCV Bail bonds is open 24/7. To speak with a live agent about bail by phone, fax, email, online or in person, call us at  877-422-4591, (877-4-BAIL 911).