Maybe you’ve personally been hit with a misdemeanor Los Angeles petty theft charge. Or maybe you’re the parent or friend of someone who recently got arrested for shoplifting or stealing small amounts of jewelry.
In either case, you might be extremely tempted to treat this situation as a “one-time event” — a cautionary tale that you can look back on, in 20 or 30 years, and laugh about with your friends at the Country Club. After all, it’s not like you committed grand theft in Los Angeles or hurt someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or engineered a complex Southern California Medicare or MediCal scheme.
You made one mistake — perhaps motivated by peer pressure or just by a strange impulse — and you want to fight the charges and put this ugly event behind you.
That fighting spirit is good. And the Los Angeles petty theft team here at the Kraut Law Group can adeptly and thoroughly equip you to deal with your legal situation.
But give some serious thought to probing to find the root cause of your arrest.
Why bother doing that? Why bother getting all introspective?
Here’s why. You’re likely familiar with the axiom “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” An analogous axiom applies to criminal defense. When people commit minor offenses, these offenses often serve as “gateway offenses” to larger types of trouble.
This suggests that what drives people to commit crimes is often deeply rooted, psychological, and not necessarily easy to find or manage.
For instance, maybe you stole some designer shirts from a store on Melrose because you were “bored.” In fact, however, you might have been feeling rejected by your peers or upset over some loss of control or autonomy in your own life. Unless and until you fix those more fundamental problems — e.g. learn how to deal with your peers in a more constructive way or restore your sense of control on autonomy — you might be tempted to do more bad “stuff” that goes far beyond committing minor crimes. This bad behavior could include just being self-destructive or engaging in a lot of negative “self-talk.”
Step one is to find and work with an experienced Southern California petty theft lawyer to find a strategic and tactical solution to your charges.
Step two is also important — this step involves really getting clear on what deeper “stuff” might have motivated you to do what you did and then wrangling with that, as appropriate.