I was arrested for petty theft, what should I plead at my arraignment hearing?
I have been charged with petty theft, my arraignment is in Feb. What should I plead? I was videotaped and arrested. Is there any chance of me going to jail? I cannot afford an attorney right now. I called the court, and they said my case was a "shell case". What does that mean?
Did you shoplift merchandise? Shoplifting is known as "petty theft." It is usually charged as a misdemeanor if it is a first offense, and the value of the property stolen is valued between $50 and $400. Petty theft can be punishable by a fine of up to $400 or by imprisonment in County jail for up to 6 months, or both. Petty Theft can be charged as a felony on your second offense under Penal Code section 666. A second conviction of Petty Theft can carry a maximum sentence of 16 months in state prison. Not all courts will charge a second Petty Theft as a felony. In fact, many courts do charge a second Petty Theft as a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the property taken and the time that has lapsed since the prior Petty Theft.
You should seek legal help with all of this. Good luck.