June 14, 2013 By Paul Wallin

A Wallin & Klarich attorney recently helped his client avoid jail time and potential fines after having charges of petty theft dismissed. Top Orange County defense attorney, Christopher Lee, successfully negotiated a deferred entry of judgment for his client after meeting with the district attorney. If convicted, the client faced up to 6 months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

“In certain cases our experienced criminal defense lawyers can have our client enrolled in a deferred entry of judgment program,” said Mr. Lee. “This is the best possible resolution because you will avoid a conviction and any significant punishment.”

Our client was charged with petty theft in violation of PC 488 after allegedly shoplifting frozen meat items from a local grocery store. Since the client had no prior criminal history and stole only basic food items, Mr. Lee was able to successfully negotiate a deferred entry of judgment with the district attorney. As part of the offer, the client will have his case dismissed after completing a theft class.

If you have been accused of a theft offense, you need to contact a criminal lawyer from Wallin & Klarich who will give you the best representation possible
“In certain cases our experienced criminal defense lawyers can have our client enrolled in a deferred entry of judgment program” – Christopher Lee

Petty theft in violation of PC 488 is charged as a misdemeanor. If you are accused of petty theft, it is imperative to have an experienced criminal defense law firm that is familiar with the elements of petty theft fighting for your rights. The prosecutor must prove the following elements in order to convict you of petty theft:

  • You unlawfully took someone else’s property
  • The property is valued at $950 or less
  • The property is not of a special type; such as an:
    • Automobile
    • Firearm
    • Bovine animal
    • Domestic farm crops exceeding $250; OR
    • Cultural products taken from a commercial or research center of a value exceeding $250; AND
  • You did not take the property directly away from the owner.

There are a number of possible defenses to charges of petty theft. The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 40 years of experience successfully defending clients accused of petty theft. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney can raise one of the successful defenses listed below:

Lack of Specific Intent

If you did not intend to steal the item, the prosecutor may not convict you of petty theft.

Claim of Right

You may have a defense to a charge of petty theft if you reasonably believed that you had a right to the property. This remains a valid defense even if your belief was ultimately mistaken.


The prosecutor may not convict you of petty theft if you are the true owner of the property in question.

Criminal Lawyer

If you are looking for an experienced  criminal lawyer to represent you, Wallin & Klarich can help. With over 40 years of experience and offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our highly skilled and professional criminal lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of your case and passionately argue that your case should be dismissed.

Let us show you how we protect our own. Call us today at 877-4-NO-JAIL or fill out our confidential form. We will get through this togetherl.


AUTHOR: Paul Wallin

Paul Wallin is one of the most highly respected attorneys in Southern California. His vast experience, zealous advocacy for his clients and extensive knowledge of many areas of the law make Mr. Wallin a premiere Southern California attorney. Mr. Wallin founded Wallin & Klarich in 1981. As the senior partner of Wallin & Klarich, Mr. Wallin has been successfully representing clients for more than 30 years. Clients come to him for help in matters involving assault and battery, drug crimes, juvenile crimes, theft, manslaughter, sex offenses, murder, violent crimes, misdemeanors and felonies. Mr. Wallin also helps clients with family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

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