Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 585-9055

Petty Theft with a Prior Can Be a Much More Serious Charge Than Many People RealizePetty theft, also known as shoplifting, carries fines of up to $1,000 and a maximum sentence of six months in county jail. An even harsher sentence, however, may be imposed in some circumstances. For instance, you can end up with a whole other felony that has much more serious repercussions if you already have a conviction for another theft charge on your record. The term "petty theft with a prior" refers to this offense. For a free legal consultation, call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 after reading on for more information.

Petty theft with a previous conviction

Because it only applies to circumstances in which you have already been found guilty of the specific crime of petty theft, this accusation is actually quite convoluted. The jury will have to determine if your prior conviction pertains to your current case if you have been found guilty.

The prosecution must demonstrate two things

There are two elements the prosecution must establish in order to secure a conviction. First, that you've been jailed or imprisoned at least once before for committing a theft crime, one of the theft crimes was grand theft, carjacking, burglary, or robbery were the types of theft crimes, and that you have been found guilty of a sexual offense that necessitates filing for sex offender status or a serious or brutal crime.

This may be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony

Petty theft with a previous is referred to as a wobbler in the state of California. This means that depending on the circumstances and your past record, it may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are found guilty of misdemeanor petit theft and have a prior offense, you might spend up to 364 days in jail, whereas a felony conviction could result in a sentence of 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison.

As you can see, there could be substantial repercussions for this charge. We advise you to get in touch with Law Office of Michael L. Fell right away at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation to learn more about what you are up against, your defense choices, and how you can proceed.