Should I plead guilty or not guilty in court if I was caught shoplifting? 12 Answers as of January 31, 2014

I was caught shop lifting, they have me on camera. It was $50 worth of merchandise. I was completely cooperative and honest with the store staff and officer. I did get cuffed and brought to a station and given a court date. I was told by the officer if I plead guilty I will get off with just a fine, but my friends have told me otherwise. PLEASE HELP.

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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., not the police, to determine how the crime will be charged and what penalties will be sought.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2014
Law Office of James E. Smith
Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
Always plead not guilty and try to get diversion.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/31/2014
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
What do you think? Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and if convicted you can kiss your career aspirations goodbye. Hire a lawyer before you get duped into a plea you will regret for life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2014
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
First, see if you can get the charge down to an infraction from a misdemeanor. If you can the punishment will be a fine alone. If it stays as a misdemeanor, you will not receive jail time for a guilty plea.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
Engage an attorney and do all in your power to resolve this matter without a permanent record which will follow you for years, if not the rest of your life.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/31/2014
    Fluhr & Moore, LLC | Steven S. Fluhr
    A fine is a possibility if you plead guilty. So is jail time.? You are better off seeking counsel who can plea bargain with the prosecutor,so you will know what the outcome of a plea of guilty will be.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Best bet is to get an attorney and seek diversion. We help people like you all the time.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Do not plead guilty without first consulting with a lawyer. Most will offer a free initial consultation. There may be options available to you that could keep this off your public record such as diversion.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    The Rogers Law Firm
    The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
    You can plead guilty and pay a fine, but then you will have a shoplifting conviction on your criminal record forever, which will prevent you from getting a decent job, renting an apartment, getting federal student loans or a regular bank loan, etc. In Missouri, the maximum penalty for misdemeanor (under $500) shoplifting is 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000. I suggest that you hire an attorney to represent you if you want to keep this off your criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Law Office of Mark Herman
    Law Office of Mark Herman | Mark Herman
    Do not plead guilty. There are implications beyond a fine if you do. You will have a criminal record that, in the future, could prevent you from obtaining employment or even housing. You do not mention if you have any other criminal convictions which could also influence what could or could not be done. I strongly suggest you contact am attorney to discuss the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    Don't just plead guilty. Hire an attorney to defend you in trial or potentially work out a favorable deal.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/31/2014
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