Defense Attorney For Petty Theft Charges
The crime of petty theft is codified in Penal Code section 484. The crux of the offense is that the suspect took property or merchandise valued at less than $400 without paying with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property. Although thousands of people are arrested every year for petty theft, few persons realize that by hiring an attorney you actually can, in many instances, keep the arrest from becoming a conviction and destroying the record of the accused. This offense, like no other, can cause undue stress, worry and sleepless nights like no other. Fortunately, Matthew Ruff knows how to resolve these cases and eliminate the stress from a client's life.
In most cases, an individual detained for petty theft will be brought to the los prevention office, questioned and arrested then turned over to the police or simply given a citation with a date to appear in Court. As a lawyer who has defended hundreds of petty theft clients over the last 20 years Mr. Ruff is sometimes asked why some of his clients charged with PC484 are taken by law enforcement and booked versus others who may be given a ticket and released in the field? The answer to this question usually comes down to how busy law enforcement is at the time of the call. If the police are swamped with calls for service, the theft suspect will likely be written a "notice to appear" and be sent on their way. However if the police have the time they will take custody of the arrestee and transport them to the station to be booked (fingerprinted and photographed) and either "cited out" or released on bail.
Among other frequent questions that folks have regarding the crime of petty theft is whether the personal property in question must be actually removed from the premises in order to effectuate the criminal offense. The answer to this question in no. In fact, California law provides that the person merely "carry away" the property. What this means in simple language is that the perpetrator only pick up and move the item at the time he has the specific intent to permanently deprive the owner owner of the item. He or she is not required to retain the property in order to prove the act occurred.
What does a person accused of petty theft do in order to keep the charge from appearing on his or her permanent record? The first thing that should be done is the individual must retain legal counsel to assist them. Petty theft and criminal defense attorney Matthew Ruff has consistently gotten these types of charges dropped, dismissed or reduced in virtually every Court in Los Angeles and Kern County. Over the last fifteen years the attorney has established a proven track record of victories for his clients. Whether the accusation be one of simple petty theft, grand theft or even commercial burglary, the lawyer knows the steps to take to resolve the matter in a quick and effective manner. If contacted soon after the incident, the attorney can sometimes negotiate a "civil compromise" with the merchant in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.
Call the attorney for help at 310-527-4100
An example of his skills were demonstrated recently in a case in Los Angeles County where a young woman was stopped and detained by store security guards upon exiting a national mall store. The woman had placed an expensive item of clothing valued at approximately $300 in her bag without paying for it and the entire incident was caught on videotape by loss prevention personnel. She was arrested and booked by the police for petty theft and was left worried and concerned about her future and how damaging a conviction would be for her. Fortunately, she had the good sense to call Los Angeles Criminal Attorney Matthew Ruff who went to Court for her and assured her he would do everything in his power to keep the offense from her permanent criminal record. Because she hired him early after her arrest, he was able to meet with the City Prosecutor and negotiated a diversion of her case which meant if she stayed out of further trouble and complied with certain terms her case would be dismissed completely and would never show as a conviction on her record. This type of disposition is very typical for cases he handles and amounts to one of hundreds he has resolved over the last decade.
In other cases, Mr. Ruff's clients want to take a more aggressive approach by insisting that the charges be dropped completely. These cases can be best handled by pleading not guilty and setting the matter for trial. As an example: In one very recent case Matthew represented a client charged with theft from a Kohls store. The client at all times proclaimed she was innocent and was racially profiled. The attorney fought the case and was able to get a complete dismissal of the charges with no requirement of community service, fines or fees, classes or probation.
The bottom line is that being arrested for petty theft does not have to mean you will have a criminal conviction, be incarcerated or even have to serve a probation sentence. A good lawyer can make the difference between a permanent scar and a slap on the wrist.
Here is a short list of case results in the last recent months alone:
Petty Theft charge in Torrance Court, result: Case Dismissed
Charges of Petty Theft in Glendale Court, result: Reduced to Trespassing
Petty Theft inside a Mall in Los Angeles, result: Dismissed (Civil Compromise)
Grand Theft Charges in Burbank Costco, result: Reduced to Trespass
Petty Theft in LAX Court (Stolen Rolex Watch at airport metal detector) result: Charges Dropped Completely
PC 484 charge in Glendale, result: reduced to infraction trespass
Petty Theft Redondo Beach Court, results: Charges Dismissed
Petty Theft Misdemeanor in Bakersfield, result: Case Dismissed
Second offense Petty Theft in Downtown Los Angeles, result: Charges reduced to trespassing
Shoplifting Charges in Santa Monica, result: Dismissed
Theft at Torrance Costco, result: Charges Dismissed
Petty Theft Charges, Macy's Department Store, charges dismissed.
Petty Theft Arrest and Formal Criminal Charges from Kohls Department store, Case dismissed.
Petty Theft in Culver City, charges dismissed.
Petty Theft from Sears, Charges Dropped.
If you or someone close to you has been cited for petty theft, call the attorney who knows the ins and outs of the local Courts and judicial system. Serving all jurisdictions in Southern California including Los Angeles, Kern, Torrance, Redondo beach, Van Nuys, Burbank, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Santa Monica, LAX Airport, Inglewood, Manhattan Beach, and all Superior Courts in CA.
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