WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ACCUSED OF PETTY THEFT?
Petty Theft is a minor crime because in order to be petty theft, the item(s) stolen are valued at $500 or less. However, it is still a crime and can be punished. Knowing how to handle a petty theft accusation can benefit your record and future.
When caught and confronted by law enforcement authorities, your first response should be quiet and respectful. You have the right to be silent and avoid getting yourself in more trouble due to your Miranda Rights which states you have the right to be silent as well as to have legal representation. However, if you are being arrested comply even if you feel your basic rights are being violated. At that point make sure you have names of all enforcement officials.
After the arrest you will need legal representation. You can opt for a free lawyer who is provided for you by the court, or find someone to represent you and your case – it is not a good idea to represent yourself. Finding a good lawyer will require you to ask around for recommendations and ideally interview attorneys to find the right fit. Once you have someone to represent you come up with strategies for your defense. Things from past convictions and such will make a difference.
On your court dates, it is important for you to show up to on-time and well groomed. Being respectful to all will be a great impression to give the court. During the case, you and your lawyer only need to give reasonable doubt that you committed the crime because you are innocent until proven guilty. If you are found guilty, do not worry, you can appeal the conviction.