California Penal Code § 459 and 459.5
According to the California Penal Code, burglary is any instance in which
a person unlawfully enters a “home, store, car, boat, etc. with
the intent to perpetrate a crime such as theft or any felony” (§
459). The intent requirement is the reason why it is difficult to convict
someone of burglary, since it can be rather challenging determine whether
someone’s unlawful entry was motivated by intent steal (§ 459.5).
Shoplifting Allegations and Proving Intent
This is very useful information if you find yourself in a situation where
someone is accusing you of burglary or shoplifting. If you are detained
before leaving a store, the store owner will likely have troubling proving
that you intended to steal the items in question. That is why store security
will watch you, probably video your behavior, and detain you after you
leave the store without paying for the items.
The California legislature enacted § 459.5, which applies to shoplifting.
Notwithstanding § 459 (burglary), shoplifting is defined as “[entering]
a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment
is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property
that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty
dollars ($950).” Any other entry into a commercial establishment
with intent to commit larceny is burglary.
Consequences for Shoplifting in California
Shoplifting shall be punished as a misdemeanor, except that a person with
one or more prior convictions and it may be charged as a felony. California
Penal Code § 19 states that every offense declared to be a misdemeanor
is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months,
by fines not exceeding $1,000, or both.
Burglary can be punished as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the
facts and circumstances of the case at hand. Even if the court convicts
you of a misdemeanor, it will negatively impact the professional, personal,
academic, and financial aspects of your life. A criminal conviction of
any degree can cost you your job, damage your reputation, hurt your case
in family matters such as child custody, and more.
We Serve People Facing Charges of Burglary, Shoplifting, & Theft in Dublin
If you are being accused of burglary, shoplifting, or any other theft crime,
call the Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse as soon as possible.
Attorney Ivan O.B. Morse is a former police officer and has valuable insight
into the criminal justice system. As a result, we can provide skillful
representation for people like you and we routinely help our clients achieve
much better outcomes than they could have obtained alone. By coming to
us as soon as possible, you increase your chances of receiving a fair
hearing, reduced sentencing, or total charge dismissal, if possible.
Call our office toll-free at (888) 865-0741 to speak to our burglary and theft crimes lawyer in Dublin, or click to schedule your free case evaluation.