Would the petty theft show on my record for the rest of my life if I get the diversion program? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Would the petty theft show on my record for the rest of my life if I get the diversion program?

Here's some information about my case before I fully ask my question: Caught shoplifting at Meijer. Total of stolen merchandise was under $40. I'm 18 years old. First time offender. Clean record other than this. Cannot afford an attorney. I've been googling quite a few things and I've discovered the diversion program. I'm wondering if there's any way I could get it and what I would have to do if I got it. Also, would the petty theft show on my record for the rest of my life if I get the diversion program? I understand that I screwed up and I deserve to be punished, but I'm currently unemployed and would not be able to pay just fines if I plead guilty and I can't have it on my record for the rest of my life. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
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Shoplifting is usually charged in Michigan as retail fraud, third-degree, MCL 750.356d, if the value is under $200.00. This is a misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by up to ninety-three days in jail, fines, costs, restitution, probation up to two years, or other sanctions at the court's discretion. If convicted, as a misdemeanor, it could stay on a person's record. However, certain people, especially younger alleged offenders who are interested in potentially pleading guilty may be eligible for diversionary programs such the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act which, if completed, could keep a conviction from being entered in their public record. Diversionary programs often require probation and generally need to be negotiated through the plea-bargaining process prior to any trials. Occasionally, stores may pursue civil remedies as well. People charged with these types of offenses may receive letters from collection's attorneys on behalf of the store demanding money-damages. However, the burden of proof, type of claim, and process is different in civil cases even though the facts are nearly identical. Further, restitution, if ordered in the criminal case by the court, may offset damages in civil claims. If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public's expense. You have a right to counsel.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/29/2014

Michael Breczinski
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If you go through the diversion program, then you have no record of conviction on your record. You want to get a lawyer to help you get into this program.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/21/2014

Answer By Jared Austin
Austin Legal Services, PLC
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The purpose of the diversion program is that you do not have a public record of the offense if you successfully complete it. Only the courts and law enforcement will have access to it. Most first offenders will get diversion if they qualify for it and there is no reason to believe that you will not be able to be successful with it. Each court and jurisdictions has different requirements. If you do not qualify for diversion or if they will not give it to you, you can still petition they court for sentencing under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) which is for people who commit certain crimes between the ages of 17 and 21. It has the same effect in that you will not have a public record. Its difference is you must initially plead guilty and serve a term of probation. Diversion usually consists of fines, community service, and classes. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/14/2014

Answer By Sally Hamblin

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You are entitled to a court appointed attorney. Generally the attorney works a plea agreement for you including a diversion program. It may show on your record if the end of your diversion, if given, is not done properly by the attorney. This is an added fee, generally, for a retained attorney. A court appointed May not get involved after the sentence terminates.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/14/2014

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