What will happen if I was caught shoplifting? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What will happen if I was caught shoplifting?

Today I was caught stealing a pair of $30 earringsy. I was seen by a police officer who issued me a citation but did not arrest me. I now have to schedule a court date and pay fines to the store. What should I expect in court and how should I plead? This is my first offense and it was a serious lapse of judgement on my part.

Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
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You should try to get a lawyer to help you try to avoid the conviction for theft being on your record. Plead not guilty. Ask for a lawyer if you could not afford to hire your own. Stay well.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/24/2011

Law Office of Richard Williams
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I do not understand how you were not arrested. When you appear in court you will be asked to plead either guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty or if you are tried and found guilty, you could be facing one year in the county or metro jail and a fine of up to $500 in municipal court or up to $6,000 in state court. There is a permanent record of your conviction.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/16/2011

Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
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You should hire an attorney to try to get an ACOD ( Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal ) which means that the case is adjourned for 6 months and if you do not get in trouble again the case will be automatically dismissed.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/15/2011

Answer By Seth J. Bloom
Bloom Legal, LLC
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You most likely have the option of either paying the fine and avoiding a court appearance (this is equivalent to a guilty plea) or appearing in court to enter a plea (of not guilty, guilty or no contest). It may be possible to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed in return for agreeing to a certain plea, but you should consider consulting with a local attorney before accepting any sort of plea deal so that you fully understand the consequences of such an agreement. Your other option is to fight the charges in which case you should probably hire an attorney to assist you with your defense. If you are convicted of the charges against you, then you may want to consider filing an expungement to have the conviction removed from your criminal record. If you are seeking legal representation in this matter in Louisiana, we invite you to contact our firm at the information on this page for a free case evaluation.

Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 6/15/2011

Michael Breczinski
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The first thing is you should plead not guilty. Most courts have programs for first time shoplifters. An attorney would be familiar these type of programs and be able to help get you into one.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/14/2011

LynchLaw
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I appreciate you feel it was a serious lapse of judgment, but don't compound that decision with another poor decision. I tell clients over and over, it does not matter what you know, about the charge, it only matters what the District Attorney can prove. The usual, and typically proper, plea is "Not Guilty." Such a plea will give you and/or your attorney time to review the evidence against you. You can always withdrawal you plea and enter a guilty plea at a later date if the evidence dictates you should do so. Good Luck.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011

The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
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Store cannot issue fines. Based on what you said about your record, strongly suggest that you hire an attorney. Quiet chats with judge and DA in chambers sometimes produce good results.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011

Answer By Lacy Fields
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
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Your first court date will be when the judge reads you the charges and you enter a plea of not guilty. Then the judge will ask you if you intend to hire an attorney. If this is your first offense, most attorneys can get the charges reduced to something less serious. If you need any help, please don't hesitate to contact my office.

Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/14/2011

Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
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your offer should be 3 years summary probation you could get this reduced to a commercial trespassing but that depends upon the court in the DA.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011

Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
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You should first see if they will offer a plea bargain, such as a "deferred judgment." That is a special deal that if you satisfy probation, you will not receive a permanent conviction. If they don't offer that, ask for a continuance and see a lawyer.

Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/14/2011

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