What Is Petty Theft?
Petty theft is the act of taking someone else’s property that is valued below a certain amount without consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property forever. Due to it being a low-level crime, petty theft convictions can usually be expunged to not show up on background checks.
Why Should I Expunge My Petty Theft or Shoplifting Record?
Employers will usually look past job applications of people with a petty theft conviction on their criminal record. An expungement will remove this conviction from your record to prevent future employers from seeing it on your background check. This will significantly increase your chances for employment, housing, and educational opportunities.
How To Expunge Your Petty Theft Record
To expunge a criminal record, you must write a petition to a California court. Additionally, most courts allow a written testimony or supporting evidence with your request. The judge will review your petition and determine if there should be a hearing or if you are deserving of expungement. If there is a hearing, you will provide an oral argument supporting your request. Hiring an attorney will significantly increase your chances of a successful expungement.
Contact Us Today
If you are having a hard time finding employment due to a petty theft conviction, contact us today. Our attorneys can help expunge the conviction from your record, preventing prospective employers from seeing it on your background check. Give us a call at (657) 217-2799 or complete our free online expungement assessment.
California Criminal Laws
Penal Code §484: (a) Every person who shall feloniously steal, take, carry, lead, or drive away the personal property of another, or who shall fraudulently appropriate property which has been entrusted to him or her, or who shall knowingly and designedly, by any false or fraudulent representation or pretense, defraud any other person of money, labor or real or personal property, or who causes or procures others to report falsely of his or her wealth or mercantile character and by thus imposing upon any person, obtains credit and thereby fraudulently gets or obtains possession of money, or property or obtains the labor or service of another, is guilty of theft. In determining the value of the property obtained, for the purposes of this section, the reasonable and fair market value shall be the test, and in determining the value of services received the contract price shall be the test. If there be no contract price, the reasonable and going wage for the service rendered shall govern. For the purposes of this section, any false or fraudulent representation or pretense made shall be treated as continuing, so as to cover any money, property or service received as a result thereof, and the complaint, information or indictment may charge that the crime was committed on any date during the particular period in question. The hiring of any additional employee or employees without advising each of them of every labor claim due and unpaid and every judgment that the employer has been unable to meet shall be prima facie evidence of intent to defraud.
Penal Code §490: Petty theft is punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both.
Penal Code §490.1: (a) Petty theft, where the value of the money, labor, real or personal property taken is of a value which does not exceed fifty dollars ($50), may be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction, at the discretion of the prosecutor, provided that the person charged with the offense has no other theft or theft-related conviction. (b) Any offense charged as an infraction under this section shall be subject to the provisions of subdivision (d) of Section 17 and Sections 19.6 and 19.7. A violation which is an infraction under this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250).