Rancho Cucamonga, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: Now that petty theft is decriminalized in california. Can a previous charge get dismissed from your record?

Charge was under $400. Over 10 years ago. Never had any more trouble afterwards, not even a parking ticket. I would like to be eligible for a sentry pass.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Joseph Abrams
Joseph Abrams
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Petty theft is not decriminalized in California, and you cannot get a prior conviction dismissed, except through a proper expungement process. What changed in California is that the attorney general's office has instructed local prosecutors to use more discretion when charging petty theft offense so as not to unfairly burden or punish those charged.

- Law Office of Joseph Abrams, Anaheim, CA

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: it is still a crime.

however, the governor has signed a law that allows most misdemeanors to be considered for a Diversion.......but it is up to the Judge (not DA)....probably involves classes for 12 months and then the case is dismissed.

priors still need to be expunged under 1203.

Ryan  Beiser
Ryan Beiser
Answered
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's not decriminalized. You probably heard that in Los Angeles and San Francisco, prosecutors are weak on crime--which they are--and it as if petty theft has been decriminalized.

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