Askyour lawyer about a "civil compromise" where you get the store to agree to take some money and the charges get dropped.
Answer Applies to: California
You will have an opportunity to seal your record after three years. Until then, that information will be available as a public record.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Your school and your employer can find out about the criminal charges if they check unless you can get the record sealed.
Answer Applies to: New York
Adult criminal records are public information. Any person, group or organization can run a criminal background check on you.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
I'd recommend you retain a lawyer or request the court appoint you one at the public's expense. In Michigan, the maximum penalties for a retail fraud, third, usually charged in alleged theft cases for merchandise with a value under $200.00, is 93 days in jail, probation up to two years,a fine of not more than $500.00 or 3 times the value of the difference in price, property stolen, or money or property obtained or attempted to be obtained, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine. MCL 750.356d. Please note, however, that these are the maximum possible penalties. If the property is worth more, a person will be charged with a more severe offense punishable by even more jail time time, costs, restitution, or other sanctions. Judges in Michigan misdemeanor cases have a wide latitude with their sentences up to the maximum pursuant to the applicable statute. Policies and practices vary widely depending on the judge and county. An arraigning judge usually advises a defendant of their maximum possible penalties pursuant to the law. In certain situations, there may be diversionary programs which could keep a plea and conviction off a person's record. However, these diversionary programs often have strict eligibility requirements. Any potential misdemeanor charge is serious and I would recommend that you retain a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
If you are charged with the theft, you should check to see if there is a diversion program you can do instead of being convicted.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
If you get Deferred Adjudication it can be non-disclosed. This is the best route and hope that no one discovers it in the interim.
Answer Applies to: Texas
If you are convicted you can have it expunged after you complete a probationary period.
Answer Applies to: California
If you have no prior convictions, you should probably obtain an attorney to represent you in Court. It is possible that they might be able to get the prosecution to put you into a pre-trial intervention program. Basically you go to some classes, report to probation and once you complete the conditions of the program the state will announce a nolle prosse which means they will not prosecute. Once that Nolle Prosse is entered you can apply to have your record sealed and/or expunged.
Answer Applies to: Florida
You probably have nothing to worry about. for you were not arrested, printed and had a mug shot taken. Many jurisdictions hav passed local ordinances prohibiting criminal conduct, but treating it as a petty offense. This sounds like your case. It is the equivilent of a parking or littering offense. To be sure this is your case, consult with an attorney and give him all the documentation you were given by the police. Worst case is probably some form of supervision, which will not result in a permanent record, but again, I doubt this is the case here.
Answer Applies to: Illinois