Discover the Potential Consequences for a Conviction of Petty Theft with a Prior

Discover the Potential Consequences for a Conviction of Petty Theft with a Prior

ThiefIf you are charged with and convicted of petty theft then you could be spending as much as six months in jail and paying as much as $1,000 in fines. That said, if you have a prior conviction for a theft crime on your record, then you could be charged with an entirely different crime: Petty theft with a prior. Either way, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

The facts about being charged with petty theft with a prior

This can be a complicated crime because it is only applicable if you have already been convicted of a crime in the past. If you have, then the jury will need to decide if that prior crime should result in you being convicted of petty theft with a prior. In order to prove that, the conviction must prove that both of the following are true:

  1. You have at least one conviction for a theft crime on your record and you served time in jail or prison for that crime;
  2. You have at least one conviction for a serious and / or violent California crime that resulted in jail or prison time.

For example, robbery, burglary, grand theft, and carjacking would all be applicable.

However, that is not enough on the surface. You must also have a conviction for at least one of these offenses:

  • Theft and / or fraud of an elderly person re: California’s elder abuse laws;
  • Sex crime that requires you to register as a sex offender;
  • Serious or violent felony. This can include rape, murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, possession of a weapon of mass destruction, assault with a machine gun on a police officer, and certain sex crimes. These are just some of the crimes. Note that any felony that is potentially punishable by lie in prison or the death penalty counts as a serious or violent felony.

You could be facing years in prison

The good news about petty theft with a prior is that it is what’s known as a wobbler offense in California. This means that the prosecution can decide to charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony – it all depends on the particular case and your particular criminal history. If you are convicted of misdemeanor petty theft then the maximum sentence is 364 days in county jail. A felony conviction can come with a much more significant penalty such as two or even three years in state prison.

You do not want to face these charges alone. You need an attorney who will take your case seriously. You need an attorney who will fight diligently for the best possible outcome for you. You need Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell. Reach our offices by calling 909-920-0908 now for your free legal consultation.