California Penal Code 495.5

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney


Under California Penal Code §495.5, shoplifting is defined as entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).


Shoplifting shall be punished as a misdemeanor. This means that the maximum punishment is 6 months of jail and a fine of $1,000.00.


Any other entry into a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny is burglary.


The acts defined as shoplifting shall be charged as shoplifting. No person who is charged with shoplifting may also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property.


Previous laws for shoplifting were more ambiguous and allowed for prosecutors to overcharge a shoplifting crime as a petty theft, grand theft, or burglary. It also allowed prosecutors to be able to charge these crimes as felonies, which forces defendants into accepting unfavorable offers due to lacking leverage. This revised law mandates that a shoplifting crime is a charged as that and is a misdemeanor.


There are many defenses and different approaches to take in a shoplifting case. Having an attorney will help you devise the best strategy to get your case dismissed.


If you are charged with shoplifting, call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan at (714)248-3626.