Trial court erred in denying Proposition 47 petition to reduce a conviction for petty theft with a prior to a misdemeanor on the ground that the offense did not constitute “shoplifting” (Pen. Code, § 459.5, subd. (a)). Sloat petitioned to have his 2002 felony conviction for petty theft with a prior (former Pen. Code, § 666) reduced to a misdemeanor (Pen. Code, § 1170.18, subd. (f)). At a hearing that Sloat did not attend and where he was not represented by counsel, the trial court denied the petition. The court impliedly agreed with the prosecutor’s position that the offense was not subject to reduction because it did not qualify as misdemeanor “shoplifting” (Pen. Code, § 459.5, subd. (a)). Sloat appealed. Held: Reversed. Sloat sought to have his felony conviction for petty theft with a prior reduced to petty theft (Pen. Code, § 490.2), not misdemeanor shoplifting. Unlike shoplifting, petty theft does not require that a defendant enter a commercial establishment during regular business hours. The matter was remanded for reconsideration.
The full opinion is available on the court’s website here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B270080A.PDF