If you are accused of petty theft like shoplifting, you may be overwhelmed by the possible ramifications, but Fresno petty theft lawyer Michael McKneely has the experience and the resources to protect your future. With time in his career spent working as a prosecutor and a defender, attorney McKneely can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy to craft an effective defense. Not all crimes result in massive fines and years in state prison. However, any criminal conviction can have a lasting impact on your life. From the creation of a criminal record to strained relationships, being convicted of any offense like shoplifting can have serious consequences.
The first step in your theft charge defense is to contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer or call (559) 443-7442 today.
Understanding the Crime
In California, the crime of petty theft is stealing property, valued at $950 or less. In most cases, this offense is often a crime of opportunity or a spontaneous crime that wasn’t premeditated. But it could also be not returning something when you agreed to do it. Petty theft is also defined as theft by trick, theft by embezzlement, and theft by fraud, all of which carry additional penalties apart from petty theft.
Penalties and Collateral Consequences
Although petty theft is a misdemeanor under California law, it still carries penalties that can make a significant impact. On top of fines and possible jail time, a criminal conviction can lead to a loss of relationships as well as loss of employment. When a person is found guilty of petty theft they may receive certain punishments that include, but are not limited to:
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Up to six months in county jail
While the immediate consequences of committing a crime can have a negative impact on a person’s life, they pale in comparison to the long-term effects of having a criminal record. Once you have a conviction history, finding a job might be difficult. Some employers are reluctant to hire those who have committed crimes. Your attempts to continue your education might also be thwarted, as most colleges and universities thoroughly vet applicants before admitting them. Further, many scholarships will be off-limits and student financial aid affected.
How Michael McKneely can Protect Your Rights
When it comes to petty theft charges, there are a number of defense strategies that can be used to maintain your freedom. One of the most effective defenses is proving that your rights were violated at the time of your arrest. Perhaps you were mistreated by police officers, or maybe you were not read your rights. It might also be the case that you were falsely accused or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In many situations, law enforcement officers arrest people without sufficient evidence.
Talk to a Fresno Petty Theft Defense Lawyer Today
The Fresno petty theft attorney with Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer knows how difficult these situations can be. With your freedom at stake, you may be panicking at the idea of spending time in jail or having a conviction haunt you for the rest of your life. Attorney Michael McKneely will work tirelessly to help your case reach the best possible outcome. He will listen to your side of the story, collecting every detail. Once he learns all the facts, he can take your case to court with confidence.
Call (559) 443-7442 now or contact us online to see discuss your situation in a free and confidential consultation. If you’re facing shoplifting charges or any other theft-related charges in California, preserve your legal rights by contacting Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer. Fresno criminal defense attorney Michael McKneely has been on both sides of the criminal justice system, so he knows what to expect and how to make the process easier for you. Call for free and confidential consultation today at (559) 443-7442.