According to Penal Code 484, when the property taken is valued below $950, it is considered to be petty theft. Petty theft is considered a misdemeanor, typically punished by up to 3 years of informal probation, a maximum sentence of 6 months in county jail, a $1000 fine, or both. In some instances, such as when the value of the stolen property is small and the defendant has no criminal history, petty theft may be charged as an infraction and dismissed if the defendant completes theft education classes.
The rules differ for juveniles under 18 years old. There’s still a conviction on their records (it is usually called an adjudication of delinquency). Though the charge is still a misdemeanor, the sentence may not be as harsh. Rather than jail, a juvenile may be sent to detention, work community service, or mandated to attend a course, though they are still ordered to make restitution and pay a fine.
Some Examples of Petty Theft
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