How much could the fine be for shoplifting and what happens after the ticket is paid? 5 Answers as of May 02, 2014

I am a 19 year old girl. Today, I was caught for shoplifting $40 worth of clothes and the police were called. They wrote me a ticket and told me to pay online and that was about it. I have no criminal record of any kind. The merchandise was not hurt in anyway. Also, the officer wrote down the wrong home address, how does this affect my case?

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Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Instead of worrying about the fine, you need to focus your attention on how you can avoid being convicted.Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and if convicted you can kiss your college/career aspirations goodbye. Hire a lawyer before you get duped into a plea you will regret for life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/2/2014
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
The wrong address does not affect your case. You can be charged with petty theft, a misdemeanor, for which you could serve up to 1 year in jail. If this is a first offense, you might be offered a plea bargain. If the store caught you and not the police, and if you pay the amount requested, the store could decide that it will not prosecute. If the police gave you a ticket, then I would need to review the charges before advising you. It is irrelevant that you did not damage the merchandise.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/2/2014
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Shoplifting items of a value of less than $950.00 is petty theft. Petty theft can be charged as an infraction if the amount stolen is worth $50.00 or less. If over $50.00 but less than $950.00 it is charged as a misdemeanor. However If you have three or more priors for petty theft, the next one can be a felony or a misdemeanor. Infractions are punished by a fine. Misdemeanors are punished by up to one year in the county jail and/or up to a $1,000.00 fine. Felonies are punished by sixteen months, two years, or three years in state prison. The normal punishment for first time petty theft is three years summary probation, a fine, community service, theft classes, and restitution to the victim. Second or third convictions for petty theft normally are the same as for a first conviction. However, it is not unlikely to receive up to 90 days in county jail for the additional convictions. This all depends on the facts of the case. A convection of petty theft, whether by guilty plea or guilty verdict from a jury, will go on your record. This will be on your record even if you were not arrested at the store, and were only given a notice to appear ticket. The wrong address on the citation will not affect the charges or the outcome of the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/2/2014
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
They may or may not file charges depending upon the policy of the store. They may just have you pay a civil fine which they are entitled to seek under statute. Consult with an attorney in your area that regularly handles retail fraud or shoplifting charges. If charges are brought, you may be eligible for diversion programs or other sentencing options that would keep the matter off your public record.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/2/2014
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
You likely won't get a conviction if you hire a lawyer to help. We normally get the matter dismissed in these types of cases.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/2/2014
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