What Are The Most Common Questions People Have About Theft Charges?

People generally know what a theft is and what actions they took that led to the charges. At least with a theft charge! They may not understand why they were given a grand theft instead of a shoplifting charge, or a burglary instead of a petty theft or a grand theft charge, but that’s more of a legal perspective than really anything else. I think people generally understand the nature of a theft charge.

What Are Some Ways That People Can Help Their Case?

Getting counseling as soon as possible after they’ve been charged! Something like that helps their case. Obviously, not admitting to anything when they are being questioned! I’ve had some people that do that pretty well and some that don’t. It varies by the circumstance, but those are going to be the two main things. Even if you admit something, depending on how all that occurred, you might still have an argument for coercion.

If you admit everything, depending on the circumstances, you may still be able to knock the charges out or down depending on how the individual acts afterward. If they don’t pick up any new cases, if they take proactive steps to address what could be an underlying issue, they get some counseling, etc., those are some things that could help their case.

Can I Get A Theft Charge Removed Or Sealed From My Record?

Yes. If you are on probation, we can file for early termination of probation. Once you are off of probation, whether through that early termination request or if probation expires naturally, we can file for what’s typically referred to as an expungement. California doesn’t have a true expungement, though. We have a dismissal. What that does is once you’re granted a dismissal; it adds a note to the case information on your record that says the case was dismissed, but it is never fully “wiped” from your record

The guilty plea or the guilty conviction is removed and a not guilty plea is entered in its place, along note is added that says that the case was dismissed. So you can claim that you’ve never been convicted of that offense that was dismissed, but it’ll never be removed completely from your record.

What Are Some Immediate Concerns That Clients Have When They Come To You?

Usually the main concern is their current job or their licensing. If it’s a nurse or a real estate agent, those are the usual main concerns. They usually ask if the state is going to find out or if their employer’s going to find out. Usually their employer won’t find out unless they’re told. The state usually does find out fairly quickly, though, and they will send letters asking for additional information. That’s another reason why somebody should contact an attorney immediately. How those documents are responded to could play a role in whether or not an individual will be able to keep their license.

The client’s biggest need is for help navigating everything that’s going to come their way, whether it’s interactions with state licensing agencies or with the court, the DA, potentially the store or the legal representatives for the store. There are going to be a number of things that are going to start coming their way, and I just think it’s important for them to have that confidence from knowing that they have somebody in their corner who’s there to help them along the way.

How Long Does A Theft Case Take To Resolve?

Depending on the details and the nature of the actual charge, I’ve had some cases that were literally one hearing because they either got dismissed, reduced or something else that is favorable happens. It can be a month. It can be six months to a year. I’ve had some cases that went a year and a half. There’s really no way to tell how long a specific case is going to take until we actually get into it, but generally speaking most theft cases tend to resolve somewhere between three and five months.

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