Shoplifting & Theft Defense

California Shoplifting & Theft Defense

If you have been arrested for theft, then you need a good California Criminal Defense Lawyer who knows how to protect your rights and keep you out of jail.  George W. Woodworth has handled hundreds of criminal cases, from minor shoplifting charges, to major felonies.

L.A. Courts take Shoplifting Charges Very Seriously!

Shoplifting in California is defined as follows: “When someone intentionally steals, takes or carries away store property.” The Los Angeles Courts and prosecutors take these property crimes very seriously. The legal name for shoplifting differs state to state. In Washington State, for example, the state does not separate Shoplifting – shoplifting there is just “THEFT.” Here, in California, shoplifting is broken out into a special criminal charge  but is STILL extremely “SERIOUS,” and you can easily end up in jail!

Theft, Shoplifting & Burglary Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles

Here in California, Shoplifting is broken out from other theft crimes and the seriousness of the charges depends on the value of the goods allegedly stolen:

  • If someone is arrested for shoplifting less than $250 worth of property, then they may face charges for the California misdemeanor of petty larceny.
  • If someone is arrested for shoplifting $250 or more worth of property, then they may be charged with the California felony of grand larceny.

Premeditated Shoplifting = Burglary

California retail theft (shoplifting / larceny) is delineated from the California crime of burglary. The more serious charge of Burglary is” “when a person enters any building with the intent to commit larceny (eg. shoplifting) inside of that building irrespective of whether any property is taken.”

What does this mean? – Someone may face both burglary and larceny charges in a shoplifting case if the prosecution believes that they intended to steal when they went into the store.

How would the police, the detective or the prosecutor know that “intent” was involved?

1) – If you have a history of retail theft.
2) – If you admit that you had planned to steal.
3) – If you wore special clothing designed to hide goods
4) – If you used a “Booster Box” or special equipment to hide merchandise
5) – If the police interview your friends or accomplices and they state that the stealing was pre-planned

This is Burglary!

Booster Devices? – This can include a variety of devices. A booster coat will have large pockets sewn inside, as will booster pants or skirts. They are generally large and baggy to conceal the hidden merchandise. Booster boxes may appear as a gift wrapped box but with a hinged, false door on the bottom. Backpacks, Books, Bibles, Strollers, all have been modified for “Burglary” purposes – an increased or enhanced charge beyond shoplifting / larceny.

California Shoplifting Defense Attorney

As a Criminal Defense Attorney, I understand how the state pursues shoplifting, theft and burglary charges and how to best protect you. It may be possible to arrange a “civil compromise” and pay back the person or store that you are accused of stealing from.  If this arrangement is accepted, then the charges would be dropped.

If you are accused of Misdemeanor Theft in Los Angeles County, California, it may be possible to get your case diverted into Community Court.  In Community Court, depending on your past criminal history, it can be possible to get your charges reduced or even dismissed, in exchange for community service and classes.

If you need to go to trial on your theft charge, Los Angeles Shoplifting Defense Attorney, George W. Woodworth has the valuable experience you need.  Mr. Woodworth will make the prosecution work for everything, and he will not stop fighting for you.  He will file appropriate motions and challenge evidence and do everything he possibly can to keep your record clean.

If you have been charged with California Theft, you need competent counsel today.  Call Attorney George W. Woodworth, for a FREE CONSULTATION and to personally and confidentially discuss your options.


e-Mail George Woodworth Map to Office

L.A. Felony Lawyer George W. Woodworth has been Practicing Criminal Defense Law in Southern California for more than 30 years. His law practice now emphasizes the defense of Major Felonies, such as, Murder, Robbery, Arson, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Grand Theft, Fraud, Forgery, “Three Strikes” cases, Manslaughter, Gun and Gang cases, but can handle the misdemeanor DUI and Drug cases as well.

Knowledge is Power and we will share our knowledge with you when your very freedom is at stake.

Call our office to schedule an appointment with attorney George W. Woodworth. Our offices are open 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and our service can reach us if you have a pressing after-hours matter.

Call (562) 754-7422


~ Los Angeles • Orange County • ALL of Southern California ~

Free Consultations · Credit Cards Accepted · Payment Plans


e-Mail George Woodworth Map to Office
L.A. Felony Lawyer George W. Woodworth has been Practicing Criminal Defense Law in Southern California for more than 30 years. His law practice now emphasizes the defense of Major Felonies, such as, Murder, Robbery, Arson, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Grand Theft, Fraud, Forgery, “Three Strikes” cases, Manslaughter, Gun and Gang cases, but can handle the misdemeanor DUI and Drug cases as well. Knowledge is Power and we will share our knowledge with you when your very freedom is at stake.
Call our office to schedule an appointment with attorney George W. Woodworth. Our offices are open 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and our service can reach us if you have a pressing after-hours matter. Call (562) 754-7422

~ Los Angeles • Orange County • ALL of Southern California ~

Free Consultations · Credit Cards Accepted · Payment Plans