If you have been charged with theft in San Fernando Valley, the hearing of your case will depend on the area and jurisdiction. The Van Nuys court controls most of the West San Fernando Valley and the valley's center.
These areas have jurisdiction over all theft-related offenses, and offenders are charged by prosecutors who are either city attorneys or district attorneys. If the offense took place in the north end of the valley, the San Fernando courthouse usually deals with theft-related crimes.
Felonies are also handled at the north end of the valley. In other words, depending on the area in Los Angeles County where the theft offense occurred, the case will be heard within the court system in San Fernando Valley.
When a person posts bail on a theft-related offense, they will be given courthouse information from the bail bondsman. If the crime is a misdemeanor case, the police will often provide the offender a citation that indicates the courthouse where their case will be pending.
Sometimes, the police will make a mistake, and the person is sent to the wrong jurisdiction. If a person is sent to the wrong court, the court will reroute the case to the courthouse jurisdiction over that particular offense.
Do I Need An Attorney To Defend Me In a Petty Theft Case?
You should get an attorney to defend you, even if it's a petty theft case. If you're charged with a crime, it will likely show up on your record. A mark on your record for theft, even if it's petty theft, can prevent a future employer from hiring you.
Theft on a record can have numerous consequences, and it would be wise to get an attorney to protect your rights and history. There are also diversion programs that are available depending on the theft. An experienced attorney can pull out all the stops and try to get your charges reduced or dropped when it comes to your theft-related offense.
There are many different tactics that your criminal defense attorney can use to argue for your case. It is highly recommended to hire an attorney who has experience in the courthouse where your case is pending. An attorney who has dealt with the prosecutors and the judges will prove invaluable.
What is California Proposition 47?
Proposition 47 reclassifies many low-level theft offenses from felonies to misdemeanors for some defendants. Proposition 47 allows some defendants the opportunity to sign up for a diversionary program, or if the theft is small enough, the defendant might even be able to get an infraction instead of a misdemeanor.
Proposition 47 has watered down the effect of petty crime. It gives criminal defendants and their attorneys the ability to minimize the impact of theft in Los Angeles County.
Before Proposition 47, a defendant would've had to take a misdemeanor conviction for any theft-related offense and have a mark on their record. They would also be placed on probation for three years, and there would be a fine, community service, community labor, or jail time as punishment.
The defendant would have to stay away from the location they were accused of stealing from. Petty theft cases result in a harsh punishment that lasts for three years, making it difficult for the offender to get a job because of the mark on their record.