If my 16 year old son is charged with felony theft for stealing stuff out of unlocked cars, do I need to get a criminal attorney?

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If my 16 year old son is charged with felony theft for stealing stuff out of unlocked cars, do I need to get a criminal attorney?

Also, want to know if they reduce the crime to a misdemeanor? It is his first offense. If it remains a felonythen it stays on his record right? We’re in Los Angeles County, CA.

Asked on November 22, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your son absolutely needs a criminal attorney. He stole items from a motor vehicle, it makes no difference if the vehicles were unlocked. If it is a misdemeanor or a felony, the crime stays on his record period. His record will be sealed upon 18 but only if he is not charged as an adult. The fact it is his first offense is good but bad because of the gravity of the offense, especially if multiple counts are involved and the amount of the theft can qualify for a felony. He needs a private criminal counsel to explore options, from alternative convictions or delayed convictions to trying for a dismissal upon meeting certain conditions. If all else fails, his lawyer will then attempt to negotiate the counts and charge or charges down to a misdemeanor.


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