Can I get my charges dismissed for shoplifting? 46 Answers as of May 17, 2011

I was recently caught shoplifting and I am over the age of 18; however this is my first offense and is a misdemeanor. I was wondering what I should do and the likelihood of getting the charges dismissed, please help?

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Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
It's unlikely you can get the charges dismissed however you may be able to have it reduce to an infraction which is like a traffic ticket.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/17/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
In Michigan, an 18-year old may be eligible for HYTA treatment of an offense such as shoplifting (Retail Fraud). Alternatively, a deferred sentence could be possible. In either case, the agreement of the prosecutor and the Judge is needed. In either case, the ultimate result is keeping the matter off your record. (HYTA is a sealed record, deferred sentence will put it on your record for 1-year and then it will be dismissed) You should consult an attorney to represent you in this case. You may contact my office to discuss hiring me to represent you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/16/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
Shoplifting is usually charged as a class B or C misdemeanor. It is not a major offense, but can really screw up getting a job or keeping a job when the employer finds out. Some DA's have programs where you can enter into a diversion program and have it handled in such a way that when you have completed the diversion, the case is dismissed. You may be served well to have an attorney walk you through the process even if he can't get his magic wand to work and get the case dismissed outright.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/16/2011
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
If the charges have been picked up then your best option is either to fight them in court or attempt to strike a plea deal in which you plead guilty to a lesser offense. Another option would be to attempt to negotiate for a reduced and/or deferred sentence in return for probation or other deferral programs. The best way to attempt to negotiate this sort of deal is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 5/16/2011
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
If you are charged with a crime between 17th-21st birthdays with a criminal offense such as yours, you can request consideration under HYTA and if you successfully comply with the terms and conditions of probation your case would be dismissed. Visit my website for more information.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/13/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    There are a couple of actions a lawyer can help you with such a charge. One of the actions you can take on your own is to make the store whole again. If the store is compensated for the crime, meaning the replacement of the item taken, and all of the costs associated with the investigation of the crime, then the case might be dismissed under what is called a civil compromise. You would need a letter from the store informing the DA and the Court that they have been compensated in full for anything related to the incident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Cases are seldom simply dismissed. There needs to be a very good reason or defense for a DA to do this. Assuming the facts of the case are not too egregious, however, there are many types of plea bargains that can be made that would result in an eventual reduction or possible dismissal in the future. A good attorney can help you evaluate your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    The ability to dismiss a charge is completely in the discretion of the prosecutor. You or your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor and if the facts or evidence is not strong enough to secure a successful prosecution, the prosecutor may choose to dismiss. Another way of securing a dismissal would be to enter into a diversion agreement with the prosecutor, whereby if certain conditions are met, the prosecutor would agree ahead of time to dismiss the charge. You should consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    There are two possibilities for you, one is asking the court for theft deterrent school, the second is to ask for supervision, which is a plea of guilty, but if you complete the supervision period satisfactory, a conviction will not be entered on your permanent record. Go to court with an attorney, who knows exactly how to get one of those dispositions.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Michael Moody
    Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
    If the victim-store agrees, you will be able to go through a Pre-trial Diversion Program, which involves community service and watching a film about how shoplifting steals from us all. You definitely want to get into the diversion program. You must have a lawyer to get into the program. If you successfully complete the program, the charge will be dismissed. Any record of theft will pretty much guarantee you won't be able to find meaningful employment. The bad part is the arrest will remain on your record unless you can get the prosecutor to agree to expunge the arrest as well.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick
    Law Offices of Karen Kilpatrick | Karen Kilpatrick
    Your lawyer should request PTI (pretrial intervention)- which means upon successful completion of the diversion program, the charges will be dismissed. This is likely what will happen. If not, next best scenario is to receive a withholding of adjudication, which would allow your charges to be sealed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It is fairly unlikely that you would get an outright dismissal of the charge. However, if this is a first offense, you may be eligible for diversion or a Deferred Sentence. Either of these would result in the eventual dismissal of the charges. Another option would be to petition the court for a Deferred Prosecution. That would require a drug or alcohol problem or a mental health issue. If you would like more free information, please give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Once arrested only the state or municipal prosecutor can dismiss the charges. Normally, shoplifting charges are pursued heavily by the the victims and are rarely dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    I have handled hundreds of shoplifting cases and on a first offense I have always been able to get an ACD dismissal with shoplifting school or community service. Call anytime for a free consultation. I have lawyers in every city in New York State.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can the case end up being reduced or dropped? Of course. Is that likely, just because you want it? No. The police and DA don't spend time and money arresting, charging and prosecuting cases only to drop them because you 'want' them to. That's not how the system works, obviously. IF there are valid defenses, facts, evidence, witnesses, sympathies, etc. that would allow an attorney to defend the charges and keep the prosecutor from proving the case as alleged, then, yes, the case could be won. Won through motions, won at trial, or won by negotiated plea or dismissal. You won't know until you consult with counsel with ALL the facts. If serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me to arrange a consultation to discuss the facts and fees.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
    Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
    You can have your charge dismissed (expunged) if you meet three criteria. 1) paid all fines and restitution for your conviction 2) are not currently being prosecuted for any other crime 3) have successfully completed your probation You do not necessarily have to have completed your full probation. You can petition to have your probation terminated early. Please visit my website for more information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    You should hire an attorney to try to obtain an ACOD -m adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. This means the case will be adjourned for 6 months and if you do not get into trouble during this time the case will be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You should ask your lawyer about a compromise of misdemeanor. with a compromise of misdemeanor, the case will be dropped if the store is repaid and if the store agrees that the case may be dropped. This is often a possibility in a small shoplifting case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Allan & Summary
    Allan & Summary | Justin Summary
    You need to hire an attorney to help you with this. It's unlikely that the prosecutor will dismiss the case completely unless something is wrong with the arrest but it's certainly possible to get the charges amended to something else or at least avoid a conviction.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    There is a good chance our office can get the charges dismissed. We can represent you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It often depends upon what county the case is pending in as to whether it gets dismissed or something else happens to it. The best thing to do is consult with an attorney who is local to you and see what they know about the county in which it is pending. There are "Stop Lift" Programs that many people go through that is often a prerequisite for an ACOD, which will eventually become a dismissal. It also often relies upon you doing additional community service as well. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    An attorney can review the evidence and see what to do. There is a chance to get it reduced to trespassing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Hire a lawyer. Discuss the facts with him or her to see if your lawyer can broker a deal with the victim. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    I can help you get the charge dismiss, but you have to comply with a number of things in order to get that accomplished.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Whether your charges are dismissed or not is solely within the hands of the prosecuting attorney. Just because it's a first offense does not mean the charges will be dismissed. At arraignment you will have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty. If a not guilty plea is entered, the matter will proceed to pre-trial where it can be further discussed with the prosecuting attorney. For further information, contact us.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    There are a number of possibilities; however, it is important that you retain a criminal lawyer to help advise you as to your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    0 chances for dismissal, but should get community service and no record.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    It really depends on the details of the charge, the location of the court and the store involved. Contact a defense lawyer in your area.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law
    Ron Graham Attorney at Law | Ron Graham
    It depends on the court some have what are called diversion for first time offenders. Otherwise you would have to what one year after for expungment.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC
    Law Office of Sam Levine, LLC | Sam L. Levine
    There is a statute that you may be able to take advantage of so that you can avoid prosecution. Please consult with a criminal defense lawyer in your area for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Since you have no priors, there is a chance, which usually involves paying restitution and working out additional terms with the prosecutor to earn a dismissal. Contact an experienced attorney to assist you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    It is possible. I have had success getting petty charges dismissed, and sometimes even rejected before getting filed. Call me to discuss your case and defenses. I can also be reached through my website.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    A lot will depend on the local customs in the court where your case us pending, but what also matters is what you do between right now and your court date. The "it's my first offense" defense doesn't go very far without something to back it up and convince the DA why they should dump a solid case against you. Find a local criminal defense attorney that routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard to discuss representing you for the best possible outcome.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers
    Expert Bronx Criminal Lawyers | Alexander Sanchez
    Getting a case dismissed depends on a number of different factors, including the strength of the evidence against you. Your lawyer might be able to have your charges reduced to a non criminal violation, such as disorderly conduct, There may be a fine, or community service, but it is worth it to eliminate the criminal charges from your record.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Charges are rarely just dismissed. As a result, having an experienced attorney in your corner is critical. A theft offense can be very serious. While any theft under $500 is a misdemeanor. Such an offense is still punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. The collateral consequences of a conviction can also be extremely significant and preclude a person from finding employment where background checks are performed. Often, if you have no prior offenses, a conviction can be avoided with a Stay of Prosecution. A Stay of Prosecution means that the offense is never recorded on your record and stayed for a certain period of time to ensure that you do not have another offense. We can assist you in making sure that your record is not affected.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Depends on the county. In some counties, there are community court or diversion programs that will lead to dismissal. Minor charges are sometimes dismissed for reasons that have nothing to do with you. Your best shot is to hire a lawyer, but if you can't, the court will probably appoint an attorney. Show up for all your court appearances and see how it goes.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Some jurisdictions offer what are known as deferred sentencing deals for first time offenders who are charged with relatively minor crimes. Normally the way it would work would you would plead guilty to the charge and then agree to do some community service or take a class or perhaps pay the store back. If you do what the court orders in the time frame the court orders you to do the stuff in, the case gets dismissed, if you don't, then the judge puts you on probation or sends you to jail or whatever the judge said he would do to you. It could also be possible to approach the store owner (best done through an attorney, not a good idea to do it yourself) and see if they would agree to dismiss the case if you paid them back for the value of the merchandise. The prosecutor may object but in some states the court has the power to dismiss the case regardless.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    Whatever the best result for your case may be, whether that is a dismissal or a reduced charge, your chances of obtaining such a result is best served by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. You should do everything possible to avoid a petty theft conviction as it could have devastating consequences for your future including disqualifying you from future employment opportunities, denial of a professional license, etc. Do yourself a favor and immediately contact and hire a criminal defense lawyer to help you. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law
    Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law | Kevin Smith
    Given that this is your first offense, you are likely to be eligible for a pretrial diversionary program that would allow you to complete a court supervised program that would result in the dismissal of your charges. However, if you hire an experienced defense attorney, he or she may be able to get your case dismissed without requiring you to use a program. You should call an experienced criminal defense attorney near you to discuss your case more thoroughly.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    The fact that you have no prior convictions will definitely help you as you go through the criminal justice process. There are a variety of options that the court could choose in this kind of situation, including dismissal, but any lawyer would need to take a good look at the details of your case before giving you a real assessment of your chances at dismissal. Does that make sense? If you have any questions, give me a call!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Mercado & Hartung
    Mercado & Hartung | Stephanie Hartung
    The prosecutor will not dismiss the charges simply because it is your first offense. A theft charge carries series consequences and you should consider speaking with a lawyer about your options. It is possible that a lawyer can negotiate an alternative to theft prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    You have no chance of getting charges dismissed without an attorney. With an attorney, there are ways of keeping your record clean. Call me to discuss.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    The charges will probably only be dismissed if: 1) the store agrees to drop the charges, 2) an essential witness fails to show at trial, 3) there is something in the facts or report that would warrant a motion to dismiss being granted. Unless one of these occur the charges probably will not be dismissed. However, if it is your first offense, you may qualify for a diversion program which would at least keep the conviction off your record once completed. You should not plead guilty or accept any deals until first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. I would advise you to seek one out right away.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/12/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    It's very important to hire a lawyer to help you get the charge dismissed. Feel free to call me to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/12/2011
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