It can be said without a doubt that shoplifting is stealing, so there are bound to be consequences for that. But one might wonder, is police arrest the right outcome for taking something by mistake? What if someone accidentally puts a bar of chocolate in his pocket and forgets to pay for the same? Would he face the same consequences as someone stealing something valuable? All these questions are valid and are necessary to address while discussing shoplifting regulations. Continue reading this article to learn more about the shoplifting laws in California.


What Is Shoplifting?

If you want to understand the consequence of shoplifting, you must first learn what exactly constitutes shoplifting. When someone enters a shop, store, or commercial establishment at business hours and intends to steal an item(s) worth $950 or less, it is considered shoplifting. Now, it must be noted that the shop owner only has to prove that the accused had an intention of stealing. Shoplifting was first seen as a criminal offense when a new law Proposition 47, came into practice in 2014.


What Are The Consequences:

In California, shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor. Shoplifting penalties may lead to up to six months of jail time and a fine of up to 1000 dollars. When one is charged with shoplifting, he is promptly taken to jail and later produced to court for a bail hearing. At the hearing, the judge decides the bail amount. If the defendant has a previous criminal history, his crime is deemed as a felony shoplifting. Shoplifters with a prior criminal record may face up to 3 years of prison time and a fine of up to $10,000.


How To Get Out Of Jail:

Bail is the only option to get out of jail once arrested. You must pay the bail money and get out of jail as soon as possible. Now, it might be hard for one to arrange the total bail sum on short notice. Therefore, many opt for bail bond services because it is a much cheaper alternative to paying cash bail. There are several bail bond agencies in California working to provide people fast bail from jail. For example, a defendant may reach out to bail bonds Sacramento to secure a hassle-free bail and return to his family. 


  • A defendant has to sign a bail contract that declares that he must be present in court on all the pre-set dates for his trial. If he fails to show up at his trial, he will be arrested immediately. The defendant must follow all the rules mentioned in his contract while he is out on bail.
  • The bail agents charge a non-refundable fee for his service. In California, most bail bond agencies charge a ten percent of bail fee for their expert service. 


Prepare for Trial:

Once the accused is out of jail, he must prepare for the courtroom hearing. An experienced lawyer can twist the rules to get a favorable verdict. If anyone you know is charged with a shoplifting allegation, ask them to get in touch with a criminal attorney to represent him in court.