California Penal Code 666 PC

PC 666 – Petty Theft with a Prior

PC 666 - Petty Theft with a Prior

Petty Theft with a Prior – Table of Contents

Petty Theft with a Prior Charge

Petty theft with a prior, CA Penal Code 666, can elevate the small crime of PC 666 petty theft to a felony and could potentially lead to 3 years in state prison. In order to be convicted of PC 666 petty theft with a prior you need to first be convicted of petty theft, for a full understanding of petty theft read our CA Penal Code 484 article.

The legal definition of CA PC 666 is as follows:

  1. That you have qualifying prior convictions of theft crimes
  2. That you served time in jail or prison because of those convictions

In order to have a qualifying prior conviction you must have been convicted of at least one of the following theft crimes:

It’s important to note that being charged with the crime does not warrant a qualifying conviction, you must actually be convicted. Simply having one conviction of the crimes listed above will not qualify you for the more harsh sentencing of CA Penal Code 666 PC petty theft. 

In order to be eligible for the sentence enhancement you need to either:

  1. Have three or more convictions of the crimes listed above, or
  2. Have one conviction of the crimes listed above, and either:
    • A sex crime conviction that makes you register as a sex offender in accordance to CA Penal Code 290
    • A prior conviction for a serious or violent crime

Penalties for CA Penal Code 666 PC

CA Penal Code 666 is a wobbler, meaning it can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and your criminal record.

If the prosecutor finds that you are eligible for CA PC 666 and you get convicted of the crime as a misdemeanor then you will face:

  • Up to 1-year in county jail

If you are convicted of a felony then you will face:

  • Up to 3-years in county jail

al Code

The reason the sentencing for PC 666 petty theft with a prior, which is often shoplifting, is enhanced so much under CA Penal Code 666 is because it is used to keep repeat criminals off the streets.

Prosecuting PC 666 Petty Theft with a Prior Charge

Checking your Criminal History

In order to be tried for CA PC 666 the prosecutor must prove that you are eligible for the crime enhancement. This can either be performed during your trial for your petty theft with a prior conviction or during another trial. If the prosecutor wants to have two different trials in front of two different juries then he/she will request a bifurcated trial.

Prior Allegations

It’s important to note that the prosecutor firstly has to prove that you are guilty of petty theft and then he/she can advance the trial to your PC 666 petty theft with prior allegations.

Defending PC 666 Petty Theft with a Prior Charge

It is your attorney’s job to prove your innocence of the petty theft charges filed against you. If your attorney can prove that you’re innocent of the smaller crime of petty theft, then you will not be eligible for the penalty enhancement of PC 666 petty theft with a prior.

Are You Innocent?

To understand how your attorney will prove you’re innocent read:

Defending Petty Theft in the petty theft article.

We Want to Help

If you or a loved one is being charged with PC 666, Petty Theft with a Prior, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Esfandi Law Group
Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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