Theft Convictions And Their Implications In California
In this article, you can discover:
- How theft convictions can affect future employment opportunities in California
- Possible defenses to get theft charges dropped or acquitted
- The process of expunging theft convictions from a criminal record in California
Can A Theft Conviction Affect My Future Employment Opportunities?
In California, most employers cannot inquire about your criminal history until they make a conditional offer of employment. If they learn of a theft conviction during a background check, they can consider it when deciding to accept or deny you as a potential employee.
A theft conviction, viewed as a crime of moral turpitude, may impact your employment prospects depending on the nature of the theft and the position for which you are applying. Grand theft or theft related to employment is even more likely to affect future employment opportunities.
What Are Some Collateral Consequences Of A Theft Conviction In California?
Collateral consequences of a theft conviction in California include the potential loss of liberty through incarceration and employment impact. A felony theft conviction will affect the right to own and possess a firearm, ineligibility to vote for incarcerated felons, and immigration issues for non-citizens convicted of a crime of moral turpitude. Additionally, a theft conviction, particularly a felony conviction, can impact the ability to rent a residence and obtain a loan.
It is important to note that robbery with a firearm significantly increases potential prison time, as the use of a firearm is an enhancement to an already serious charge.
Can I Get My Theft Charges Dropped?
There are several defenses to a theft charge, and establishing any of these could potentially result in dropped charges or an acquittal. Some defenses include:
- Claim of right: Demonstrating a good faith belief that the stolen property was yours.
- Insufficient evidence: Lack of evidence of intent, motive, or identity of the perpetrator.
- Entrapment: Committing the crime due to law enforcement enticement or influence.
- Lack of criminal intent: Proving you did not intend to take the property.
- Unconstitutional search or seizure: Suppressing evidence obtained through an illegal search or seizure.
- Statute of limitations: Dismissing charges if the prosecution commences outside the applicable time limit for filing criminal charges.
- Coercion or duress: Committing theft due to verbal or physical threats to you or a loved one.
- Insanity: Asserting that mental illness or defect absolves responsibility for the crime.
Can Theft Convictions Ever Be Expunged From A Criminal Record In California?
In California, a person convicted of a misdemeanor theft offense may petition the court to expunge the conviction after successfully completing probation, typically one year. A person convicted of a felony theft may also petition the court to expunge the charge and possibly reduce it to a misdemeanor in some circumstances.
Diversion programs may also be available for those charged with a theft offense, resulting in dismissed charges upon successfully completing the terms.
Can A First-Time Offender Avoid Jail Time For A Theft Conviction In Northern California?
First-time offenders may avoid jail time for a theft offense, depending on the nature of the offense. Options for avoiding jail include dismissal of charges, successfully petitioning the court for diversion, or seeking an alternative to jail, such as work release, Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, home detention, or community service.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Charged With Theft In San Francisco Or Near San Francisco, California?
If charged with a theft offense in San Francisco or California, you should immediately contact a qualified criminal defense attorney and refrain from making any statements to law enforcement unless advised by your attorney.
For more information on Conviction For Theft Charges In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 728-9982 today.