Caught stealing

Question:   What will happen if I was caught stealing again after I paid a fine and did community service for a previous stealing case which was a misdemeanor petty theft?  I live in California. I was caught stealing and went to court.

I can’t believe I am in this situation again.  I know I should have learned my lesson the first time.  I don’t know what came over me, but know this is not me.  I am not someone that steals things.

Am I going to have to serve a lot of jail time for this theft?  Is it considered a felony since I already have a previous theft conviction?

Answer:  So you already had an arraignment date?  When did that occur?  Did you enter a not-guilty plea and set it for pretrial?  What was the item that you allegedly stole?  And where did you allegedly steal it from? (a store, a house, etc.?)

Keep in mind that you should not answer these questions on a public forum such as this.  It is better to discuss these matters personally with a Criminal Defense Attorney.

I would recommend that you contact a criminal defense attorney in the city that you live to discuss the matter further.  Assuming the prosecutors are aware of your prior theft, they will likely seek harsher penalties than they did on your first theft case.  That being said, I have regularly kept theft charges with a prior out of jail completely.

If the charge is a petty theft, it will still be considered a misdemeanor even though you have a prior theft conviction.  If the value of the alleged stolen item is high, then it could be charged as a grand theft, and potentially as a felony.

I would need to know more information about your case in order to better answer your questions.  Call me at 818-336-1384 to discuss your matter further.

In the meantime, there is more some information about petty thefts at .  I am a Criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, CA and I handle theft charges.


DUI & Criminal Defense Attorney Handling DMV, DUI and Criminal matters throughout Courts in Southern California including Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and Orange County Courts.

Legal disclaimer: This message does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only. This message does not establish an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established once a retainer agreement has been fully executed between you and this firm