California Penal Code Section 488 There's No Alternative 

California Penal Code 488

PC 488 violations are in most cases charged as misdemeanor offenses, even though a burglary lawyer may be able to reduce charges to an infraction for first time offenders – depending on the circumstances of the case. For those with a previous criminal history, convincing a judge that you made a momentary lapse of judgement can be difficult for some. Regardless of your circumstance, the following information can be very beneficial towards better understanding the charges that have been brought against you.

What is Petty Theft?

The act of stealing items valued under $950.

How Petty Theft is Committed

California penal code 488 violations can be committed in a number of ways, including:

  • Larceny – this is otherwise known as shoplifting, and entails moving someone else’s property – physically, and without the owner’s consent. In addition, this act would have resulted in the owner being deprived of the item on a permanent basis.
  • Trickery – involves hoaxing someone into believing that their property will be returned in good faith.
  • Embezzlement – involves taking ownership of items that was left in someone’s trust. This oftentimes happens in employment situations where an employee is entrusted with company funds.
  • False Pretense or Fraud – This entails giving an owner false information in order to steal property. In these 488 pc cases the prosecution will need to provide a testimony, a document proving a promise or eyewitnesses at the time.


  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • An informal probation

Other types of Theft

  • The stealing of good worth more than $950
  • The stealing of cars, agriculture or firearms
  • Stealing by mugging , robbery or burglary

The Difference Between Petty and Grand Violations

Grand in the general sense is the same act of stealing goods belonging to someone else, without their consent, and that these goods were worth more than $950.

How to Fight CPC 488 Charges in California

Some of the top legal defenses for petty theft penal code offenses include:

  • The accused accidentally shoplifted an item
  • The accused owned the alleged stolen items
  • The owner had given permission for the accused to take the goods
  • There was a mix-up with identifying the accused and the real thief

A theft conviction can make it impossible to secure good employment or apply for a professional license. The petty theft attorneys in Orange County at MacGregor and Collins however can help to fight these charges. Call us today at 844-285-9559for a free no hassle consultation.

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