What is the citation for petty theft? 9 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I am 20 and I got caught stealing merchandise that totals around $20 and I just want to know how I am supposed to take care of it. It is my first offense and I just want to get it over with. I have a court date next month, but I have heard that you can just pay the fine. If that is true how can I go about that? And does a citation stay with you? Or does it disappear after awhile?

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The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
You can plead guilty and pay the fine, but then you will have a conviction for shoplifting on your permanent criminal record. That type of conviction can never be removed from your record. It will prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, being accepted into college, getting federal student loans, etc. You need to hire an attorney to handle this for you. If you have no prior convictions, your attorney can probably negotiate a plea bargain to get the charge reduced to "Littering." Depending on which court this is in, you probably won't have to appear in court but you will have to pay a fine and court costs.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 7/8/2013
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
This is criminal matter. This is not something to just take care of.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/7/2013
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
You need to talk with a lawyer to avoid having a conviction that will remain on your record.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/5/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
You cannot properly handle this without a lawyer. You could be charged with either a violation or a misdemeanor and you could even face jail time. This is not a simple matter of paying a fine.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/4/2013
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. I suggest that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you and get you the best deal possible.
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 your 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
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Sorry, you cannot just pay a fine. You committed a gross misdemeanor with a sentencing range of 364 days in jail and $5,000 fine. You likely will be sentenced to attend a consumer awareness class, do community service, pay a fine, pay restitution, stay away from the store, have no further criminal violations, and be on probation for one year. You will have a criminal record and will need to expunge your record. Unfortunately, while on probation, and background check will show the charge against you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Ask for diversion at Court to avoid a record.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/7/2013
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    You should appear in court at the scheduled hearing. If you take a plea, once your case is over, you can request that it is sealed/expunged after two years.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/3/2013
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