How do I take care of a petty theft citation? 10 Answers as of July 03, 2013

Ok I'm 20 years old and was caught shoplifting about $20 in merchandise. I was just wondering how I'm supposed to take care of it. It's the first offense and I just want to get it over with. My court date is scheduled next month. I was also wondering if something like this stays with you for awhile?

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Depending on the amount allegedly stolen and the jurisdiction where the event occurred, shoplifting can be met with a mere citation (infraction), or charged as a misdemeanor or even a felony, with possible jail sentences of 6 months to 3 years. It will be up to the D.A. to determine how the crime will be charged.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/3/2013
The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
If you plead guilty or are convicted of shoplifting, that conviction will stay on your criminal record forever. It will never qualify for removal (expungement). A conviction for shoplifting will prevent you from getting a decent job, renting an apartment, getting a loan, being accepted into college or getting federal student aid. You need to hire an attorney to represent you to keep this off your record. Maximum penalty for shoplifting in Missouri is 1 year in jail and $1,000 fine. Your attorney can probably negotiate a plea bargain to get the charge reduced to "Littering" or dismissed with probation. Of course, the outcome of your case depends on which court this is in, your criminal history, and the details of your case. Call around and get price quotes from attorneys for legal representation. I would imagine you can find someone to represent you for around $500 to $750 total. In addition, you will have to pay a fine and court costs to the court, but you probably won't have to appear in court. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/3/2013
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
If you are convicted you will likely get probation plus a fine. Some DA's will reduced it to an infraction, like a traffic ticket with no probation, just a fine. Also sometimes it can be diverted meaning you attend some classes and it will be dismissed. If it is either a conviction or an infraction it can be expunged later.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/3/2013
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
If you get convicted of it then the conviction stays with you forever. This is not like driving points and goes off your record after a while. You should go in plead not guilty and get a lawyer. That person may be able to get a deal where you end up with no conviction on your record. This is huge. What employer wants to hire a thief?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/3/2013
Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
Yes, it stays on your record for many years. Do not "just get it over with." You may be eligible for a diversion program that will result in a dismissal in the end, but even this will be reflected on your record. The government collects everything we do and such things can affect you in employment and licensing applications, and even your ability to rent an apartment. So think through your actions to the consequences, it's never worth it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and if convicted you can kiss our career aspirations goodbye. Hire a lawyer before you get duped into a plea you will regret for life.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Ask for diversion so you can get it dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    The Lariscy Law Firm, PC
    The Lariscy Law Firm, PC | Joseph E. Lariscy, III
    If you were to plead guilty in court to this offense, you are looking at high fines, probation, community service, possible jail time, and most importantly, a conviction on your criminal record. With an experienced attorney, you may be able to avoid a conviction and wipe the charge clean. Based on what information you have provided, your next course of action should be contacting a lawyer in your area to work out the best possible outcome for you. I
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Once you go to court and plead guilty real quick to get it behind you real quick, then you will have a conviction for theft on your record forever. Then you can write back and complain about how you cannot get a job with this theft on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    If by "a while" you mean "the rest of your life", then yes. Everybody wants to get it over with quickly right now, but 20 years from now, you might not want that theft conviction on your record, particularly if you're trying to get a job with any sort of responsibility whatsoever.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/3/2013
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