What can I do on a first time misdemeanor second degree, petit theft? 9 Answers as of January 08, 2014

I found a wallet, on the counter, and for some reason, I didn't turn it in. I am being charged with petit theft, misdemeanor second degree. I have never been in any trouble, not even a ticket. I am pleading guilty. Cause I did find it. I didn't keep it. Nor take anything from it. But what can happen and will it stay on my record?

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Law Office of Victor Knapp | Victor Knapp
If you plead guilty to a misdemeanor, you will have a criminal record for life. Prospective employers do not look favorably work applicants with criminal records (especially theft convictions). Retain a lawyer to negotiate a non-criminal and sealable disposition.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/8/2014
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 your career aspirations goodbye. Hire a lawyer before you get duped into a plea you will regret for life.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/8/2014
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
If you plead guilty then you will have a permanent record. My advise: hire an attorney who may be able to work something out to keep this off your record.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/8/2014
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY RIGHT AWAY. All you do is end up with a conviction on your record forever and you will have given up all your bargaining power. Get a lawyer. See if something can be worked out so that you end up with no conviction on your record. What employer wants to hire a thief?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/8/2014
The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
Don't plead guilty, hire an attorney to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to get the charge dismissed or amended to a lesser offense. If you plead guilty, you will have a conviction on your record for theft, which will make it very difficult to find a job, rent an apartment, get a loan, etc.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/8/2014
    Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
    If you plead guilty it will stay on your record. You should schedule a meeting with a criminal defense attorney in your area and see what your options are for keeping this conviction off your record.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Ask for diversion
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Do not plead guilty without first consulting with a lawyer. There may be problems with your case or sentencing options available that could keep it off your public record. Most lawyers offer free consultations. Look for an attorney in your area that specializes in criminal defense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Robert J. Sayfie, P.C.
    Robert J. Sayfie, P.C. | Robert J. Sayfie
    You may not want to plead guilty at this time. A misdemeanor is on your record forever unless you are able to expunge the offense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/8/2014
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