Criminal Defense in Orange County
Charged with Shoplifting?

Orange County Shoplifting Charges

Experienced Defense Attorney in Anaheim, CA

Generally perceived as a minor theft offense, shoplifting can actually be classified as a felony under certain circumstances. Depending on the value of the stolen goods and the prior criminal record of the defendant, a shoplifting conviction can carry a penalty of up to 3 years in state prison. If you've been arrested on shoplifting charges, our Anaheim criminal defense lawyer, Barney B. Gibbs, can ensure that you receive the best possible defense for your case.

Barney Gibbs has represented clients in more than 3,000 criminal defense cases over his career. He has successfully seen 2,000 counts dismissed, using his experience and familiarity with the local court system. He knows what makes judges tick and understands the strategies of the prosecutors might face. Thus, representation from The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs gives you an advantage that few law firms can offer. You can trust that our team of trusted legal professionals can stand up for your rights.

What constitutes shoplifting?

The crime of shoplifting is defined as the theft of merchandise from a store or business establishment. However, taking merchandise out of a store without paying for it is not the only criminal act included under California State shoplifting laws.

The following types of shoplifting are considered equally serious under the law:

  • Switching original price tags for less expensive price tags
  • Changing labels on merchandise
  • Wearing articles of clothing and concealing the tags
  • Leaving a bar, restaurant, or other establishment without paying the bill
  • Eating food in a store and hiding or discarding the wrappers

If you are arrested for any of the above and the value of the stolen goods is less than $950, you may be charged with petty theft; if it is more than $950, you may be charged with grand theft. In either case you will need an experienced shoplifting attorney to represent you at arraignment.

Proving Charges of Shoplifting in California

Although it is not difficult to catch a person in the act of shoplifting, the prosecution must still bring evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that there are ways of refuting charges, if you have an attorney with the experience, diligence, and thoroughness to build an aggressive defense. At our firm, we know that nobody is guilty until proven, and we can fight every step of the way to ensure that you are not wrongfully accused.

The prosecution will likely bring any evidence available, including:

  • Video footage from a store security camera
  • Any statements you make while under arrest
  • Statements by security staff
  • Testimony from witnesses

This evidence must prove the following factors existed:

  • That a witness saw you approaching the merchandise
  • That you took possession of the merchandise
  • That you hid, walked away with, or changed the merchandise
  • That the merchant or witness continuously observed you during this process
  • That you did not pay for the merchandise
  • That the merchant (or authorized security staff) approached you outside of the store

If any of these factors do not exist or create holes in the likelihood of your guilt, our attorney can find them and use them to supplement your defense. You may feel as though a shoplifting charge has you backed into a corner; but you are not alone. Our firm is proud to be your advocate to ensure that your rights are protected.

Enlist the Help of an Experienced Advocate

If you have been arrested for petty theft or grand theft, you will need the help of an Anaheim criminal attorney who is knowledgeable about the complexities of California shoplifting laws. In California, for example, a shoplifting charge for merchandise worth less than $950 may not automatically be classified as a misdemeanor. If it is your second, third, or fourth arrest, you could be charged with a felony. Attorney Barney B. Gibbs has the experience necessary to fight for a reduction or dismissal of your charges, and to ensure that you are not automatically given the severest form of punishment if convicted.

Take the first step toward an aggressive defense. Contact us today!


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