There are many species of theft and ways a theft-related case can be charged as a felony. Theft cases can also be charged, or resolved, much less onerously.
Petty theft and shoplifting are misdemeanors (notwithstanding prior convictions)
Infraction Reduction: Theft cases charged as misdemeanors can be reduced to the infraction level; however, there are special procedures for this type of reduction.
It may also be possible to negotiate a “deferred sentencing” deal, at the end of which the charges are dismissed. This is particularly true with the recently established community court program.
Under the right circumstances, if a civil compromise can be negotiated, criminal charges can be dismissed even over the prosecutor’s objection and without requiring a plea agreement or deferred sentencing agreement.
Theft Related Felony
There are a number of other ways that a theft related case can be charged as a felony. For example, theft committed inside a building can be charged as a burglary (in addition to theft) if there is evidence that a plan to steal was formulated before entering the building. Another example of a theft related felony is robbery; theft by force or threat.
Grand Theft is a “wobbler” which means it can be charged at the misdemeanor or felony level. Often grand theft is charged when the value of the property at issue exceeds $950.
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