A person commits theft if they are taking someone else’s property without the owner’s consent. A petty theft is a type of theft where the value of the stolen property is up to $500. If the theft involves items stolen from a shop, store, or merchandise, it’s called shoplifting, and it’s considered petty theft. It’s a less serious offense, however, it can still leave a scar on your criminal history record.
Some states have petty theft laws in place that include retail thefts and shoplifting, while other states have separate penalties and laws for shoplifting.
The distinction between petty theft and grand theft is the classification of each in a different category. Crimes punishable as felonies are considered grand theft, while crimes punishable as misdemeanors are considered petty theft.
Here, we’ll discuss how much is bail for petty theft, the types of theft this category includes, and the penalties and bail bonds for each.
- Shoplifting bail can be as much as $20,000, or as low as $500, depending on the stolen item’s value.
- The total bail amount for felony charges varies between $20,000 and $100,000, depending on the severity of the crime; the heavier the crime, the higher the bail amount to get out of jail.
The penalties for petty theft can include jail time, fines, probation period, community service, restitution, or a diversion program. The diversion program is usually sentenced to first-time offenders.
In some states, theft convictions fall under the misdemeanor laws, and the maximum penalty they carry is up to 1 year in jail. In some states, the misdemeanor is punishable with up to 2 to 3 years in jail. The judge might consider other penalties as an alternative, like probation, fines, or community service.
If the offender repeats the property crimes, the total theft bail will be higher, or they might even face jail time.
A theft case is punishable by law if it involves the following elements:
- Ownership – the stolen items must belong to a certain individual.
- No consent – the property owner did not give any type of consent to the offender to take the items/property.
- Wrongful thinking – wrongfully converting someone else’s property into your own.
- Intent to commit a crime – permanently deprive the owner of their property.
All these elements are included in petty theft and the total bail bond amount will depend on the severity of the case, the offender’s criminal background, prior convictions of theft, and the value of the stolen property.
Petty theft is classified as a misdemeanor and the total bail amounts are lower compared to the many other theft charges.
If a juvenile commits a crime, the case will likely be passed to the juvenile justice system rather than the traditional criminal court. A different set of penalties apply in the juvenile justice system.
If you or a loved one have been accused of petty theft, the next step is to find an attorney and a bail bond agent and discuss your legal options. The attorney will inform you about the next steps, while the bail bond agent can post a bond on your behalf in exchange for a nonrefundable fee that is equal to 10% of the total bond amount.
The total bail amount will be determined on a bail schedule, by the judge in court, with the possibility of the judge altering the amount. Once your total bail amount has been set, use our bail bond calculator for theft to determine the amount you’ll need to pay a reputable bail bond agent to post a bond on your behalf.