Being charged with a theft-related offense can be devastating to one’s career and future employment opportunities. Theft convictions can also result in deportation, exclusion, denial of naturalization and other serious immigration consequences. Usually defendants without attorneys take the first offer (plea bargain) on the table from the prosecution or judge. Since the neither the prosecutor nor the judge can give you legal advice, a pro-per defendant is usually left guessing as to what they should do. Whether that offer involves jail, Cal Trans or some form of community service depends on the amount of the loss, the number of prior convictions and, of course, the prosecutor and judge. Generally, most lawyers will attempt to get the charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor or from a misdemeanor to an infraction.
Errol Cook, Esq.