What can I expect in court if I was given a citation for petty theft?

I bought $100 worth of clothing and went to the Sephora store and decided to get 3 matte lipsticks and blush. While standing in line I put the items in my purse and reached for my phone to call my husband. I proceeded to check out with the clothing I purchased and walked out of the store and when I went to reach for my keys I saw that I forgot to pay for those other items. By the time I came to that realization the Loss Prevention told me to walk back inside. Later that night I was given a citation for petty theft and was told to show up next month. I have never had any prior arrest and my husband is active duty so I’m not sure what to expect when I go for my court date..

Asked on July 17, 2014 under Criminal Law, California


Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

you face up to a year in jail and a permanent criminal record which can never be erased or expunged. It's important that you hire an attorney who can negotiate a plea bargain that will not involve jail and will dismiss the criminal charges so that you aren't convicted of a crime. 

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