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

True or False: You Don’t Need an Attorney if You Are “Only” Facing a Misdemeanor Theft Charge

It might seem that stealing is a low-level offense by definition. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell, we advise you to take any criminal charge seriously. The truth is that if you are found guilty of this charge, you could face significant penalties and jail time. Even paying recompense to the putative victim may be demanded of you. To receive a free legal consultation, call us at (949) 585-9055 after reading on to learn more about the charge.

Theft Crimes

Let's first think about what it means to commit a theft crime. Receiving stolen items, taking another person's property, or using a company's services without paying for them are all examples of this offense, which can be brought as a felony or misdemeanor. Keep in mind that these are only a few instances of theft. Regardless of the theft accusations you are facing, Law Office of Michael L. Fell can assist you.

Criminal Theft Offenses

Misdemeanor theft falls into one of three categories. Class A thefts entail the taking of goods or services worth between $500 and $1,500. Unless the service or item was purchased using a check or an electronic debit card, in which case the value range is between $20 and $500, a Class B theft charge involves stolen goods or services that are valued more than $50 but less than $500.

Services or goods purchased using a check or an electronic debit that are worth less than $20, or any other service or goods that are worth less than $50, are considered Class C misdemeanors, the least serious of the charges.

Possibilities of Punishment for Misdemeanor Theft

As you might expect, the particular punishment you will receive if you are found guilty of stealing may vary depending on the offense. You might be sentenced to up to $4,000 in penalties and up to a year in jail for a Class A misdemeanor stealing conviction. The mandatory minimum sentence for this crime is 90 days in jail if you are deemed a habitual criminal offender.

A Class B misdemeanor stealing conviction carries a minimum 30-day jail sentence for habitual offenders. Those who are found guilty of this offense face fines of up to $2,000 and a potential prison term of 180 days. Unless the defendant is a persistent offender, in which case they could serve up to 180 days in jail, a Class C stealing misdemeanor carries a fine up to $500 but no jail time.

Why Would You Require Legal Counsel for These Charges?

Consider hiring a lawyer if the possibility of jail time and fines isn't enough of a motivator for you. This conviction will go on your criminal record. Do you want to pass a background check the next time you try to do so for a new job, a new house, a loan, a mortgage, or any other reason, or do you want to explain it to a person who could be indifferent but is in charge of your future?

For a free legal consultation, call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055. We can work to lessen the repercussions of your theft accusation.