What to do if I got arrested for petty theft and don’t have court for another 2 months?

Should I try to find a public defender? What should I plead? This is my first and last time getting arrested.

Asked on August 14, 2013 under Criminal Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The crime of Petty Theft is a misdemeanor in the state of California.  The maximum penalties for most first-time petty theft convictions are a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), up to six (6) months in county jail, or both. That is what is on the books.  However, there is a very good chance that as a first time offender the matter would be resolved for little or no jail time.  Yes, I would try and ask for an attorney or hire one.  There are defenses and what you should plead will depend on the facts as discussed with your lawyer. Good luck.

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