Torrance, Shoplifting at Kohl's, Probation Ended Early
Distilled Down: Torrance, our client arrested for and charged shoplifting at Kohl’s (Penal Code § 484(a)), case plea bargained to disturbing the peace, probation terminated early and conviction expunged.
When our client retained our office, Greg immediately suggested that the client take an online shoplifting prevention course (either through Tom Wilson Counseling Services or the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention), which she did. She then gave Greg the certificate of completion.
Kohl’s also made a demand for payment of their loss prevention expenses associated with their citizen’s arrest of our client. Without even speaking to us, our client paid this out of fear and a misunderstanding that if she paid Kohl’s demand, she would not be prosecuted. This is a common mistake and the letters sent by the law firms representing such “big box” retailers, like Kohl’s, are skillfully written to foster this misunderstanding and elicit payments.
Greg Hill then went to the Torrance Superior Court for the arraignment, where he showed the Torrance City Prosecutor the certificate of completion of the shoplifting class and the cancelled check in payment of the loss prevention fees.
Greg Hill negotiated a plea bargain, wherein our client performed ten days of community service in exchange for a plea to an infraction violation of Penal Code § 415(2), disturbing the peace (by making loud noises that bother others), and was placed on 24 months of summary, or informal, probation. The misdemeanor charge of shoplifting was dismissed. Our client was happy with this, especially with her immigration concerns, as a conviction for shoplifting would have been a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude, whereas a conviction for disturbing the peace is not.
Twelve months after entering the plea, or half-way through the 24 months of summary probation, Greg then filed a motion for early termination of probation under Penal Code § 1203.3(a). The court granted this motion and then, our office asked the court to withdraw the client’s “No Contest” plea and dismiss the case (expungement). The court granted this, too.
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