You should never downplay an arrest or not take it seriously because you perceive it to be a “minor crime.” There is practically no such thing as a minor crime because any conviction could have an outsized impact on your present and future.
In terms of punishment, theft can be very serious, depending on the amount at issue in your case. Any theft that involves more than $950 in goods or services is charged as grand theft. Even petty theft for amounts below that is charged as a misdemeanor with potential jail time.
Besides jail time, there are a number of collateral consequences of a theft conviction. Theft is viewed as a crime of dishonesty. A conviction could affect your chances of future employment and your immigration case. Theft is considered to be a crime of moral turpitude that can lead to deportation.
In addition, any conviction that remains gives you a criminal record for some time to come, even if it is a seemingly “minor” misdemeanor. Thus, if you are charged with another crime in the future, you will be treated as a repeat offender.
You should have an experienced attorney for any type of theft charge. Your lawyer may be able to successfully fight the charges when law enforcement has violated your legal rights or the prosecutor cannot prove the individual elements of the crime (they must prove intent in theft charges). They may be able to negotiate a lesser charge as part of a plea deal.
Call a Sacramento and Marin County Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with any type of theft, the Mason Law Office can help you. Call us today at 833.774.0602 or message us online as soon as you can to get the legal assistance that you need.