Answered on Feb 12th, 2011 at 10:58 AM
Yes. A shoplifting charge, as petty as it is, with a maximum possible consequence of probation, up to a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail (time off for good behavior, aka 'good time credits', pursuant to Penal Code section 4019), is still a crime of moral turpitude. You are unlikely to even be aware of the different, and lesser, possible outcomes of the case, much less to accomplish a far better disposition on your own. An Attorney can probably do that for you, and radically reduce the impact of the case upon your future.