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Six Reasons We Are The Best Bakersfield Petty Theft / Shoplifting Defense Attorneys
Earl Carter has been practicing criminal defense including thousands of petty theft cases in California since 1975. Likewise we are in Bakersfield Court daily. This local experience gives us a major advantage.
Our Bakersfield attorney Brian Burns is excellent at fighting for clients to avoid jail, using acquittals, penalty reductions, plea bargains, and tailored sentencing arrangements to his advantage..
In most cases, we can appear in court on behalf of our clients charged with petty theft, shoplifting, or larceny. You may not have to go to court at all. We can fight your case for you, while you go on with your life. This saves you time, unnecessary stress and money.
Our fees are very affordable, including the option for easy payment plans.
Our attorneys are skilled at defending petty theft clients at trial, as well as resolving cases through strategic plea bargaining, when necessary. We are prepared to take either approach as necessary to benefit our clients.
Our phones are answered by a live person weekdays from 8 to 6. If you have questions or need help, we are available for you.
Bakersfield Petty Theft Defense from $695
Facing criminal charges for Petty theft in Bakersfield can be a frightening experience. If you, or someone you love, are being charged with Petty Theft, you need an attorney with experience to fight for you. Earl Carter has been defending clients against criminal charges for over 35 years.
Bakersfield Petty Theft Attorneys
Petty theft is one of the most frequently committed crimes in Kern County and the Bakersfield area. While it is commonly referred to as stealing, or shoplifting, the legal terms are either petty theft, or petty larceny. The California Penal Code Sections most often used are PC 488, 490.1, or Pc 490.5. Petty theft is the name of the crime of stealing goods with a value of less than $900. If the value of the goods stolen exceeds $900 then the crime becomes Grand theft.
While one might think petty theft is a minor crime, it can actually by a very big deal. For one thing, a conviction of theft is what is considered a “crime of moral turpitude” This means this is a crime that society perceives as being a sign of one with depraved character. A petty theft conviction can have devastating effects on one’s ability to secure employment, professional license status, and immigration status. In addition, a conviction of petty theft can be down right embarrassing to have on your record. If you are facing petty theft charges, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer with experience handling petty theft cases. From an attorney’s perspective, these are actually good cases to defend.
Problems with Petty Theft Cases
Petty theft is a problematic crime in that it is so easy to accidentally and innocently commit acts that look like petty theft. For example, all of us, at one time or another, have gotten distracted while we are shopping and absent mindedly stuck something in our pocket or purse. Those of us with kids know how distracting it can be to try to shop when you children are with you. Furthermore, kids often stick items in pockets, and purses without their parents permission. Unfortunately when this happens you run the risk of being accused of shoplifting or committing petty theft. Our Bakersfield petty theft defense attorney can help in these types of cases.
One of the primary elements of the crime of theft is that the person committing theft must act with the intent to deprive the owner of an item (the store). If one does not act with this intent, then they have not committed the crime of petty theft, or shoplifting. Our Bakersfield criminal defense attorney is excellent at proving when our clients who are being accused of petty theft or shoplifting, did not act with the requisite criminal intent that is required for the crime of petty theft.
Another problem with the crime of petty theft is that many stores hire loss prevention personnel whose sole job is to “catch” people who are shoplifting. While this may seem like a good idea, it can create a problem as these loss prevention personnel have to justify their jobs by finding people to accuse of shoplifting. In some cases, this can create a situation where the loss prevention personnel can become overly zealous and wrongfully accuse innocent shoppers. If you feel like you have been wrongfully accused of petty theft or shoplifting, you owe it to yourself to consult with our experienced petty theft defense attorney.
Consequences of a Bakersfield Petty Theft Conviction
Petty theft is a misdemeanor crime. This means that technically petty theft can be punished with time in jail. However, as a practical matter, most petty theft or shoplifting convictions will not result in actual jail time. Most often a conviction for petty theft will result in a fine, three years of probation, and some type of community service or work release in lieu of time in jail.
In many instances, the harshest result of a conviction for petty theft is the impact such a conviction can have on your record. Once you are labeled as a thief, it can be very difficult to obtain, or keep employment. Further, for those who are not United States citizens, but who are trying to become a citizen, or who are seeking other types of immigration status, a conviction for petty theft can have a disastrous effect on your immigration case.
While one conviction for petty theft may be a misdemeanor, under the California Penal Code the crime of petty theft with a prior (penal code section 666) is often charged as a felony. Therefore, it becomes very serious to be convicted of petty theft, as a second accusation for petty theft, even years later, can result in a felony and significant jail or prison time. Consequently, if you are being charged with petty theft, you should not take it lightly. There can be many harsh unexpected consequences that can follow from a conviction for petty theft, even many years after the fact. If you are facing petty theft charges, you should consult with our petty theft defense attorney or shoplifting lawyer immediately. There is often much that a skilled petty theft defense attorney can do to help you avoid a conviction of petty theft, or to help minimize the penalties and consequences associated with a petty theft conviction. Our petty theft defense attorneys have literally helped hundreds, of people being charged petty theft minimize the consequences through dismissals, acquittals, or beneficial plea bargains.
Defenses to Petty Theft Charges
The good new to those being charged with petty theft is that there are many ways that an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fight your petty theft charges. As discussed above, one of the primary elements of the crime of petty theft is the intent to steal the item. One of the primary ways to attack a charge of petty theft is to demonstrate that the person being accused lacked the intent to actually steal.
Another defense that can be used to beat a charge of petty theft is to demonstrate that the item in question actually belonged to the defendant. In some cases people are accused of stealing items they carried into the store, based on the assumption that the item belongs to the store. In cases where the item in question actually belonged to the defendant, this creates a defense to the charge of petty theft.
There are many ways our attorneys can help you if you are being accused of petty theft or shoplifting. Even where there are no legal defenses to a charge of petty theft, our attorneys are regularly able to avoid convictions or minimize the penalties involved. But do not make the mistake of taking an accusation or charge of petty theft lightly. If you are being charged with petty theft, especially in Kern County or Bakersfield, you should consult with our criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Preferred Outcomes of Petty Theft Cases
Clearly the best outcome you can get in a petty theft case is a dismissal of the charges. While a dismissal is not always possible, our criminal defense attorneys have secured many dismissals for our clients charged with petty theft. One way this can occur is through a deferred entry of judgment (DEJ) arrangement with the court. In some circumstances our petty theft defense attorneys can work out an arrangement with the court in which our client does community service and then stays out of trouble for a predetermined amount of time. Once the court finds that our clients did not get into any more trouble within that time period the charges are dismissed.
In other circumstances, our Bakersfield petty theft defense attorney may be able to get a misdemeanor petty theft charge reduced to an infraction. This is generally possible when the dollar value of the item alleged to be stolen is low. In any event, having a misdemeanor charge reduced to an infraction (like a traffic ticket) can be a huge benefit to someone facing petty theft charges.
Stay Out Of Jail- Our Bakersfield Criminal Defense Attorneys Will Fight for You
Staying out of jail is one of the primary concerns of most of our clients being charged with petty theft. Fortunately for you, our attorneys are excellent at keeping our clients out of jail. In Bakersfield, jail is not a guaranteed consequence for being charged with a petty theft. Our criminal defense attorneys are experienced and willing to fight for you to get you acquitted or your case dismissed, when the facts of the case allow. If this is not possible given the facts of your case, we will fight to get charges dismissed or reduced, and penalties minimized. In circumstances where conviction is inevitable, our attorneys excel at working out alternative sentencing arrangements that avoid jail time for our clients. Stay out of jail by calling us today and getting us to work on your case.
Fight Petty Theft charges in Bakersfield- While Staying Out of Court
Fighting criminal charges in Bakersfield can be an extremely stressful and time consuming process involving several court appearances. One benefit to hiring Earl Carter & Associates to represent you is that we are often able to appear in court on behalf of our clients. Not only does that prevent you from having to miss work, but it also saves you from unnecessary stress. Court is naturally a very stressful environment that is best avoided where possible. Save time and avoid the stress of court by hiring an Earl Carter criminal defense attorney to handle your case. We will do everything we can to ensure that you don’t have to appear in court.
We Will Fight to Keep Your Record Clean
One of the primary concerns when fighting a petty theft charge is the impact the case will have on your criminal record with a conviction. If you are being charged with petty theft, it is critical that you do everything that you can to minimize the impact on your record. Our experienced bakersfield criminal defense attorneys know how to get charges dropped or reduced in order to minimize the blemish that appears on a criminal record. Our attorneys are extremely successful at getting felonies dropped to misdemeanors, and misdemeanors dropped to infractions, when the facts of the case allow. We are also excellent at going back over old records and getting them expunged or cleaned.
Earl Carter & Associates Bakersfield California
If you were to ask us what the top three things someone should look for in a criminal defense attorney this is what we would say: 1. Local Experience. 2. Passion for fighting for clients and 3. Affordability.
If you are facing criminal charges, you will want an attorney with years of experience who understands the law and who understands the defenses to the law. Moreover you will want someone who has demonstrated over years of practice that they can successfully and effectively defend people charged with crimes. Beyond just experience, you will want someone who as experience in your court and who knows the different people involved including judges and district attorneys. The criminal lawyers at Earl Carter & Associates are in the Bakersfield and other Kern County Courts daily defending criminal cases. Their local experience and legal knowledge encompasses all criminal defense practice areas including DUI, drug crimes, petty theft, burglary, welfare fraud, domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon,violent crimes, sex crimes,traffic, tickets, and more.There are many criminal attorneys who are knowledgeable or experienced, but not all attorneys are passionate about fighting for their clients. This is where our attorneys shine. You simply do not work for our firm unless you are passionate about fighting for your clients. Come meet with with our Bakersfield Attorney for a consultation and you will experience the energy and passion with which he approaches his cases.We believe in making high quality criminal defense representation affordable to the average person. You will find that our fees are lower than most other attorneys and we can make payment arrangements that make our services affordable to virtually everyone.
Criminal Defense Attorneys is One of the Finest Criminal Defense Attorneys in Bakersfield
Here is our challenge to you. If you are facing criminal charges anywhere in Kern County, especially Bakersfield, come to our office and meet with our Bakersfield Attorney, before you select an attorney. We are extremely confident that if you do, you will be eager for our Attorney to fight your cases for you. We are in Bakersfield criminal courts daily. We have defended thousands of clients facing criminal charges, like you. We are universally loved by our clients as criminal defense lawyers with local knowledge in Kern County and passion to fight on his clients’ behalf. Our office is directly across the street from the Bakersfield courthouse. If you are at court and you don’t like the way your case is going, you can walk across the street and come see us. We accept walk-in appointments and we will do his best to fit you into his schedule. You deserve an attorney who cares about you and about your case, and who has the experience and passion required to defend you in the most advantageous way possible. If you are facing criminal charges in Kern County call of come by to see our Attorney in our Bakersfield office. You will be so glad you did.
Bakersfield Office Info
Bakersfield, CA 93301