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Are you facing Shoplifting charges in Los Angeles?

Under California Penal Code Section 459.5 it is a misdemeanor to enter a business during business hours with the intent to steal items worth $950 or less.

Prior to California enacting Proposition 47 you would have been charged with Burglary based on the same facts. Since the passing of Proposition 47 you will be charged with misdemeanor shoplifting so long as you were not previously convicted of a “super strike offense”, are not a 290 registrant, the crime was committed during business hours, and the items were valued at less than $950.

If you take items worth more than $950 you may be charged with grand theft under Penal Code Section 487, or burglary under Penal Code Section 459.

Shoplifting charges are serious, and a conviction can have devastating consequences. If you are facing shoplifting charges in Los Angeles, or the surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of shoplifting?

To be found guilty of shoplifting under California Penal Code Section 459.5 the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Entered a commercial establishment,
  • During regular business hours, while the business was open, and
  • When you entered the establishment you intended to commit theft

You do not need to have actually committed theft, so long as you intended to when you entered the establishment. This means that if you are caught before leaving the store with a shoplifted item, you will be considered to have shoplifted.

A commercial establishment is any store that sells goods or services.

What is the difference between shoplifting, burglary and petty theft?

Burglary will be charged in lieu of California Penal Code section 459.5, shoplifting, or California Penal Code section 484, petty theft, when the value of the property taken exceeds $950. The only difference between burglary and the lesser crimes of shoplifting is the value of the item taken. This means that you can be charged with felony burglary or grand theft, instead of shoplifting, for taking a few high priced items from a department store.

How can I defend myself against shoplifting charges?

A shoplifting conviction can seriously damage your credibility and make getting a job and even finding housing difficult. For this reason it is imperative that you hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Some of the most common legal defenses to a shoplifting charge are that;

  • You were falsely accused
  • You simply forgot to pay for the item
  • You developed the intent to steal the property after you entered the store

Just because you have been accused of shoplifting does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for a shoplifting conviction?

A shoplifting conviction in punishable by;

  • Up to 6 months in county jail,
  • 3 years summary probation, and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000


Depending on factors specific to your case, you may be eligible for diversion. Diversion gives you the opportunity to complete specific requirements which enable you to have your case dismissed, and avoid a conviction all together. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney may be able to resolve your case with diversion, and a complete dismissal of your case.

Additionally, because the offense is considered a “crime of moral turpitude”, a conviction may impact your ability to obtain a professional license, obtain housing, or get a job.

Contact Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney miles booth

Facing shoplifting charges can be overwhelming. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy.It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former prosecutor, Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. He has handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles County and will aggressively defend you to get the best outcome possible.

To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

Theft Crimes

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"Miles was an excellent resource and amazing attorney. He is honest, and extremely professional. He got several of my cases dismissed, and takes his time with his work. I would recommend him to anyone looking for someone awesome."

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Miles is intelligent and knows the inner workings of the Judicial System. He is very professional and savvy. He gives much thought to his cases and more importantly to his clients.

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