Many residents of California have extremely busy lives. Rushing from one place to the next, trying to get everything done before the day is out, it is easy to become careless or forgetful. Unfortunately, sometimes this can get you into serious trouble, especially if the mistakes you made can be construed as a deliberate attempt at committing a crime.
This may sound like an unlikely circumstance at first, but imagine a stressful day during which you go to buy groceries, but your mind is on other things. You may not notice that some of your items did not scan correctly or you could be so preoccupied that you walk out of the store without paying at all. Although you may have had no plan to steal anything, as far as the store security is concerned, it could look like you were shoplifting.
It can be difficult in such a situation to prove the truth of your intentions. Fortunately, you are considered innocent under law unless you can be proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. As such, your focus should be maintaining that doubt. Depending on the circumstances of the event, even if you are unable to escape conviction altogether, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal or obtain a reduced sentence.
Our page on property crimes have more detailed information on the steps you can take and the help that might be available to you. An attorney may also be able to provide some of the advice and assistance you require as you work to clear your name and ensure that the court hears your side of the story.