Why Is Shoplifting Legal in California

Shoplifting in California criminalizes the theft of goods from a commercial facility. To convict a person on a 459.5 PC charge, a prosecutor must prove the following: Conclusion: Debra, who was responsible for public funds (she had access to government accounts as part of her work), knowingly used public funds without legal authority. It is true that the city did not lose money through Debra`s unauthorized investment, but this is irrelevant for the purposes of Article 424(a). Debra simply broke the law by embezzling public funds. She is wrong. JA: California`s zero-bail policy and 2014`s Proposition 47 have reduced some theft and drug possession offenses from one crime to the next. The recent Smash and Grabs aren`t just shoplifting, they`re organized retail theft rings that have had little to no impact on arrested offenders. Reforms to California`s laws have opened the door to these organized crimes, which inflict economic damage on businesses. If California voters and lawmakers don`t start imposing harsher penalties, we will see more organized looting, because the benefits to perpetrators currently outweigh the costs.

Example: Doug is shopping at a clothing store. He sees a sweater on the floor that looks like the one he owns. He grabs it and thinks it has fallen from his backpack, then puts it in his pocket. The sweater actually belongs to the store. A security guard sees Doug and arrests him for shoplifting. A person caught shoplifting faces charges of misdemeanour. Shoplifting is punishable by: Governor Newsom recently signed a new law in which shoplifting is a crime, even if it is below the $950 limit, if — and this is a big « if » — the theft is part of an organized ring with the intention of selling the stolen goods. Unfortunately, this can have little impact on shoplifting, as most of these thefts are committed by individuals rather than groups, and it will always be up to police and prosecutors to prosecute them as crimes.

What we need is a change in state law that makes shoplifting a crime at a much lower level in order to create appropriate incentives for individuals not to commit these crimes. If you or someone you know is accused of shoplifting, the best thing you can do is talk to a criminal defense attorney to start building your defense right away. Call 800-834-6434 today for your free case evaluation. Entering an open store with the intent to steal goods valued at less than $950 constitutes shoplifting under California law (Criminal Code 495.5). Shoplifting is generally treated as a misdemeanor — unless you have a significant criminal record — that can be punished with six months in jail in the county and fines of up to $1,000. Anyone who was convicted of burglary before the new one and who actually shoplifted may file a claim for compensation. The initiative allows these parties to seek a new conviction. If approved by the court, their sentences will be reduced from criminal burglary to shoplifting. If you were convicted of shoplifting for burglary, you can apply for a new shoplifting conviction under state law. While it`s not technically a defense, there are other ways to solve your shoplifting without ending up with a criminal conviction. These methods include: Conclusion: Davida committed a crime by stealing the pacifier. However, to shoplift, Davida had to enter the store with the intention of stealing the candy.

Instead, she decided to steal from the candy store. Although Davida can be punished for petty theft,[13] she is not guilty of shoplifting. Davida had no intention of flying until she entered the facility. If you are convicted of a shoplifting offence, the sentence can be six months in a county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both a fine and jail time. However, if you are convicted of a felony, the penalty for a first offense can be up to three years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Prosecutors will investigate all the facts and circumstances of shoplifting to prove a person`s criminal intent, as this is often the key element that must be proven in shoplifting. Unfortunately, it`s not just shoplifting in San Francisco that makes headlines, though San Francisco`s rampant drug problem makes it far worse than it would otherwise be. JA: While it`s certainly not a panacea, increasing shoplifting penalties could at least increase the costs and risks for those considering shoplifting. The verdict against a recently convicted criminal network resulted in only one member serving a prison sentence.

The rest were probated or given suspended sentences. More resources are needed to address this problem, with a particular focus on organized crime. Inaction will drive up retail prices and push more brick-and-mortar stores to close. Some retailers are urging California lawmakers to adopt stricter shoplifting after major thefts. Here, Doug is not guilty of a crime. He was wrong to say that the store`s sweater was actually his. This error means that he had no intention of flying. Doug is innocent because intent is something that must be proven for a shoplifting charge to succeed. A person can be deported if convicted of shoplifting.

459.5. (a) Notwithstanding section 459, shoplifting is defined as entering a business place with intent to commit theft while that facility is open during normal business hours, provided that the value of the goods taken or planned to exceed nine hundred and fifty dollars (US$950). Any other entry into a commercial establishment with the intent to commit theft is a burglary. Shoplifting is punishable as an administrative offence, except that a person with one or more criminal convictions may be punished for an offence under clause (2) (2) (i) of paragraph (e) of Article 667 or for an offence requiring registration under paragraph (c) of Article 290 in accordance with paragraph (h) of Article 1170. Conclusion: This was made a threat that was legally sufficient to scare Vonnie. [46] She agreed to provide photos because of Davon`s threat. Then she made them available. These are the elements of crime. Vonnie didn`t have to ask for money to break the law. Requiring Vonnie to provide her with property – in the form of photographs – is also illegal under Section 518(a). This must be condemned.

To convict you of shoplifting, a prosecutor must prove that: (1) you entered a business facility open during normal business hours, and (2) you intended to steal property valued at $950 or less. It is important to note that it does not matter if you go out with the goods. Instead, the prosecutor only has to prove that you entered the store with the intention of stealing something. According to this definition of shoplifting CP 459.5, a person is guilty of shoplifting if it can be proven beyond a doubt: Under Criminal Code 459.5 PC, California law defines shoplifting as entering a business establishment during normal business hours with the intent to steal goods valued at $950 or less. The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by: As mentioned earlier, shoplifting is generally an offence punishable by: Loss prevention officers – who are employed by many stores to prevent shoplifting – can do the following if they believe someone is shoplifting: It is important to note that the person charged with shoplifting He does not even need to withdraw from business with goods to be guilty. Prop 47 added shoplifting, section 459.5 to the California Penal Code. Prior to the initiative, shoplifting was accused of burglary – which can lead to crimes. JA: Politics should not be made on the basis of anecdotal events. The data show that the rate of shoplifting has decreased from historical levels. And recent mass crimes, involving large groups of people stealing from retailers, are not shoplifting. However, the current penalties may have become too lax and do not sufficiently deter shoplifters.

Of particular concern is the impact on small independent retailers, who are less able to bear losses than large retail chains. While this defense can still lead to a conviction for minor theft, in some cases it can help avoid a shoplifting conviction. PC 459.5 Shoplifting is always a misdemeanor and can be punished by up to six months in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000, unless the defendant has already been convicted one or more times. Being charged with shoplifting can be an embarrassing and scary ordeal. The good news is that you have defenses in place that can be used to reduce fees or abandon them altogether.