What sentence will I get for a first time misdemeanor shoplifting charge? 72 Answers as of June 28, 2013

I made a stupid mistake (not sure what I was thinking) and was caught for shoplifting ($200). Charged with misdemeanor and given a court date in September. I have never done this before nor do I have any kind of record in the past. I am sick to my stomach as to now I cant believe I did that. Do you recommend finding a lawyer to help me with this? I already paid the store its civil demand of $425. What else can I expect? Is there anyway I can get this so that it doesn't appear on my record?

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Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
If you were charged with retail fraud in the second degree the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2000 or 3 times the value of the property that was stolen, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

If you were charged with retail fraud in the third degree the crime is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500 or 3 times the value of the property that was stolen, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.

There are provisions that treat a first offender better than people who have prior convictions and you would want to explore the possibility of diversion or a deferred sentence where if you satisfactorily complete a probationary sentence the case is dismissed and there is no record of a conviction.

If you are convicted and stay out of trouble for 5 years and have no other cases or convictions you may be eligible to have the one conviction on your record expunged.

A lawyer would be of assistance in getting you the best possible treatment in the case you are dealing with.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/27/2012
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
You should most definitely get a lawyer.

Probably the first thing he would tell you would be to not pay the store the double amount they claim you owe. It can almost be as good as an admission of guilt. On a first time offense you may be a candidate for probation but that will depend on the jurisdiction and their approach to this kind of case.

The amount is more than some would consider to be just a minor amount. Even misdemeanors can carry up to a year in jail. There is a procedure where you can avoid an outright conviction but it will depend on many factors. That is another reason you will need a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/20/2012
Anderson Law Office
Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
Yes, get a lawyer, it could be the difference between having a conviction or not.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/20/2012
Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
Up to six months in the county.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/20/2012
Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
All misdemeanor offense carry a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine although a first time offender would rarely be sentenced to jail. A judge is free to impose any sentence up to the maximum. Given the potential penalty and criminal record, it would be advisable to consult with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/20/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Get an attorney. The person may be able to get it so that you end up with no criminal conviction if you do everything the court tells you to do so. Get a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Probably the worst you face is a fine, surcharge, restitution and be good for one year or else.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Bottom line? Get a lawyer. Nobody can undo what has already happened, but a lawyer can protect you and work towards the best possible outcome in court. Ultimately, you may be able to get the charges dismissed, reduced, changed or some other resolution that won't impact your future like a theft conviction would. There's no way to give a definitive answer over the internet though.... you're going to need to sit down face to face with a good local criminal defense attorney and discuss the case and your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    Were you charged with violating the laws of Illinois? Of a city? Retail theft in most cases is charged as a misdemeanor with a potential one year in jail. If a higher-value item is taken, it could possibly be a felony. Another consideration is whether the charge can be proven against you. Was there video? An eyewitness? If you plead guilty, you may have to answer on job applications the rest of your life that you committed a theft (not good).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Give me a call I will request you get diversion so you end up with nothing on your record. I have a lot of prior cases where it has worked.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    Even a first time offender might be sentenced to the maximum. The maximum for theft depends on the value that the state alleges and proves. Your charge papers should tell you.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    From a sentencing standpoint, you are looking at 6 months to a year in jail, although as a 1st time offense, a fine, probation and a stay-away order is possible. I suggest that you contact an experienced criminal law attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your arrest. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Although it is not required, if you are that concerned about keeping a spotless record so that your future job/ school/military prospects are not adversely affected, retaining counsel to help you get a Diversionary Program and/or dismissal and/or Expungement would be highly advisable.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    You have several options that can be considered. You need an attorney. If you do have an attorney and you, would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to give our office a call.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    You will not likely get any jail time and you may be offered a deferred prosecution. That means that if you have no further involvement with the law for a period of time (usually 1 or 2 years), the charges will be dismissed. Some counties have diversion programs for such crimes which also involve dismissing the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You certainly will not be facing jail time. Hire a lawyer and he should be able to get you a sentence that will not cause a permanent mark to be placed on your record.

    In Illinois, there is supervision, which is like a long continuance of good behavior and perhaps theft deterrent school and possibly community service. Stay out of trouble, and you will be discharged after the term of supervision.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    If it is a first time misdemeanor, the DA will probably not seek any jail time. You might be required to plead guilty or no contest to petty theft, pay a fine and take a class about impulse control. If you can't afford an attorney, an attorney can be appointed for you. If you can afford counsel, an attorney might be able to work out a deal with the DA where you might not even have a misdemeanor conviction on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    ..appear on my record? The arrest is already on your record. A conviction would be on as well.

    The charges actually filed by the prosecutor will determine how much time and other penalties could potentially be imposed.

    In California, if convicted of any misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 12 months in jail, plus fines.

    The honest answer is that no attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, police reports, expected testimony, priors history, etc.

    However, a first offense with no prior record should not result in jail time if handled correctly, and might even result in a diversion or education program and no actual conviction.

    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Yes, I do recommend that you get a lawyer and this is why: Shoplift is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. There is no mandatory minimum jail time, which means, for a first offense, you will probably not go to jail but be placed on probation for 2 years. But this is the least of your problems. If your attorney can keep you from being convicted get the case deferred or diverted he/she would be worth every penny you pay. Reason: with a theft conviction on your record, you are going to be disqualified from a lot of jobs. If you are planning to go to college, it will disqualify you from admission to a lot of schools and may disqualify you from federal grants and aid.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    A Compromise of Misdemeanor seems your best route. Jail is unlikely, especially when you made restitution already. Compromise, if accepted by the court, will result in a dismissal of the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    There are a number of factors that go into determining what a plea offer might be.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    You should absolutely hire a lawyer. Lawyers can work out far better settlements for cases than people can on their own. If you hire a lawyer, you may be able to avoid the conviction entirely.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    If it is your first offense and you already paid the store back, you may qualify for a program involving community service. Unless you are a lawyer, it is always wise to have legal counsel in court proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You will likely get an ACD dismissal or a Disorderly Conduct violation. The ACD is much better as it is not a conviction. Disorderly Conduct is not a criminal conviction, it is a violation, but employers will then know that you shoplifted but will not be able to read the file if it is sealed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    Likely a fine or small jail sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Probably a year's probation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Sometime they offer a short deferred sentence.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Hire or ask for an attorney at your arraignment. Do not be in a great hurry. DO NOT pay any civil demand until you discusss it with your attorney asd you might be able to use that to obtain a civil compromise resulting in a dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Get a goood criminal lawyer and avoid a conviction for shoplifting which you prevent you from working at CVS or McDonald's and a lot of places which pay quite a bit more, like a bank or stock brokerage.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    Sentencing following a conviction of a criminal offense is up to the discretion of the judge (limited by the maximum penalty set by statute or ordinance). However, first time offenders for retail fraud rarely if ever receive jail time. You should consult with an attorney as he/she may be able to help you keep the charge off of your record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You may have the option to apply for a diversion since this is the first offense. You should either ask the judge or prosecutor or hire an attorney to negotiate for you. If a diversion is not offered, you would most likely be placed on probation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Douglas M. Philpott, P.C. | Peter J. Philpott
    It depends on the judge some give jail others just fines.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    Probably just fines/costs and probation. Depends on your criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    If you want to keep this off your record, you will need to have an attorney represent you. There is no guarantee that the attorney can accomplish this but without making the effort, there is no prospect of keeping it off your record.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In NH, it really depends on the court for the jurisdiction in which you were caught shoplifting. It will be difficult for this incident not to be on your record.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    Since you have paid the stores demand you can ask for the case to be dismissed. If the DA is unwilling to dismiss, and the court will not dismiss on its own, it is still possible to have the case dismissed following a successful diversion program. Hope that helps.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You should hire a lawyer. A theft offense can be very serious. While any theft under $500 is a misdemeanor. Such an offense is still punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. The collateral consequences of a conviction can also be extremely significant and preclude a person from finding employment where background checks are performed. Often, if you have no prior offenses, a conviction can be avoided with a Stay of Prosecution. A Stay of Prosecution means that the offense is never recorded on your record and stayed for a certain periofd of time to ensure that you do not have another offense.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of James Gandy
    Law Office of James Gandy | James Gandy
    This question cannot be answered with absolute certainty because I do not know the county you are in or the evidence against you. In any event, you did not have to pay the civil demand. You should, at least, consult with an attorney before you decide what you are going to do.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Castro, Rivera & Associates | Sandra Rivera
    Depending on where you are you would be a good candidate for pre trial diversion which is a program that makes you do a number of things and once they're completed the charges are dismissed. Sometimes the prosecutor will automatically offer and other times it needs to be requested. It's always a good idea to at least consult with an attorney or two first and then decide if you want to hire one. There are plenty of criminal defense attorneys that offer free consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Hunter Law Offices, PLLC
    Hunter Law Offices, PLLC | S. Christopher Hunter
    I would recommend getting an attorney. If you cannot afford one, you can request the court to appoint one for you. If the value of what you stole was $200 or more you could be sentenced to up to a year in prison or a fine of up to $2000 or 3 times the value of what was stolen whichever is more. You could also be required to pay the fine and do the time. If the value of what you stole was less than $200 then you are looking at up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 or 3 times the value of what you stole, whichever is greater. Basically since this is your first offense etc you may be able to reduce your time to community service, or if the judge and prosecutor agree it might get filed. Which means if you don't get into any more trouble for a year you will not be charged. If you do wind up with a conviction you get move to get the record expunged after a period of 5 years has passed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    It is possible with a conditional discharge. You consult with a criminal attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Your sentence conditions will be set by the court and each judge looks at the facts, your past law violations and the recommendation of the prosecutor to decide your sentence. Generally, you will be placed on probation, required to do community service, attend a victims class, pay court cost, and have no further law violations. You have already taken care of the civil penalty. You will have a record, but can later petition the court to expunge your record.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes. You need a lawyer to keep it off your record. It is important for sentencing as well.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Thomas C. Brandstrader Attorney At Law | Thomas C. Brandstrader
    You should be able to secure a period of supervision which if sucessfully completed will allow you to keep a clean record. Do no settle for anything less...a crime of moral turpitude on your record will follow you forever.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Ronald G. Draper | Ronald G. Draper
    You'll have to wait until your court date to be sure. Depending which county you are in makes a difference. If you haven't consulted with a local lawyer you should do so.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    You need to hire a lawyer. Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and having it means you can forget about any meaningful employment opportunties for the next decade of your life. Paying the civil demand won't cause the criminal charge to go away.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of James E. Smith
    Law Office of James E. Smith | James Smith
    Fine and petty larceny school.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Yes you should consult a lawyer. First time offenders are often given a placed on file, which means no record.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith
    Law Offices of Mark L. Smith | Mark L. Smith
    Probably a filing and a stay out of the store order.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    If its a theft and only a misdemeanor you may just get a fine and probation. If jail sometimes you can get cal trans work.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    To answer your question first; the maximum penalty for a 1st offense shoplifting charge in Massachusetts (under $250) is a fine of no more than $500.00 Your primary penalty for this offense is not the court's penalty. The entry on your record is far more punishing than the fine. A record or CORI entry, especially a Guilty, can cause you problems obtaining employment, tuition assistance and some forms of housing. Under certain conditions, it is possible to keep this off of your record. It is too bad that you already paid the civil assessment. I probably would have advised you not to pay it. Since you already have done so, I would try to use that to your advantage going forward. You should hire a lawyer, regardless of whether it is a Clerk's Hearing or straight to arraignment at the District Court level. Your chances of Dismissal are far better with an attorney than without one.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    In Michigan, it may be possible to prevent a conviction for appearing on your record, depending on the circumstances. See an attorney now, and do not speak of this incident with anyone else.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    It depends on the prosecutor, the judge, the facts, and your criminal defense lawyer. You may be able to get it dismissed with your attorney's assistance. You could potentially go to jail for months, though that's not likely. There may be a fine. You may be put on probation.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    It varies by city, county and state. In Alabama, $150-250 fine plus costs. 30-180 jail suspended for 18 months probation. It can vary a lot.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    Probably a fine and some community service.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Depends. If it is handled right you MAY be able to get it dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    It may be prudent to hire an attorney who can assist you in this matter. The attorney may be able to convince the prosecuting attorney to allow you to plead to a deferred sentence. With a deferred sentence, you would serve a term of probation, pay fines and costs and once completed the matter would be dismissed. A dismissal would be the only way to keep this off of your record. If this is your first offense with an otherwise cleam record, there is little likelihood that you would see any jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Ascheman & Smith | Landon Ascheman
    Yes, before you do anything else you need to sit down with a criminal defense attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    LeadfootSpeedingTicket.com
    LeadfootSpeedingTicket.com | Andrea Storey Rogers
    It depends on which court this is in and how old you are. My best estimate is that you will have to pay a fine and court costs and the prosecutor will reduce the charge to "Littering," but that is based on my experience with shoplifting cases in the St. Louis area. Depending on which court issued the ticket, you might have to perform a certain number of hours of community service, and you may also have to attend a court-ordered class for shoplifters. It's also possible that the prosecutor will recommend an SIS (suspended imposition of sentence) and probation, which means the shoplifting charge would be dismissed if you successfully complete the probation period without getting in trouble with the law.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    In many jurisdictions, prosecutors will offer some sort of deferred prosecution, or disposition that will keep a charge off of your record. Having an attorney to represent you could help obtain such a resolution.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    Talk to a lawyer. Because you have paid the store their civil demand, you might be entitled to a dismissal due to a civil compromise. Further, in some Oregon counties, you can do community court, which means that the case will be dismissed if you do community service, and you won't be convicted. (Actually, if your court notice says that you're going to community court, you can probably get by without consulting a lawyer; having a lawyer is always safer, but it could be a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars for a lawyer to review the case and advise you to do community court.)
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    I do recommend that you hire a lawyer. You may be able to get your case reduced to an infraction or you may have to plead guilty alot of it is up to the DA and if the court has any diversion programs available.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/20/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Normally, first offense TOP3d (shoplifting) you could expect a suspended sentence and a fine of not more than $500 plus cost. As a conviction for TOP is a crime involving moral turpitude and is a permanent record you should give serious consideration to hiring an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    1 year jail time.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Michael S. Edwards, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Mike Edwards
    You can probably get a plea in abeyance for this, if it is your first offense. That will keep you from having a conviction on your record because of this. I would recommend hiring a good defense attorney, to help you through the process. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Pietryga Law Office | Russ Pietryga
    Because of the amount. You should be charged with a class B misdemeanor. The potential penalties are as follows: Class B misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $1,000[1] , plus a 90% surcharge.[2] Class B misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 6 months.[1] *Restitution- *The court may order a defendant convicted of this crime to pay restitution.[1]
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren | Russell A. Warren
    For a charge of this type in Missouri, there are three general outcomes likely depending on your record and the facts of the situation. 1. of course there can be a guilty plea (conviction). Jail time is possible but not likely. 2. The charge could be amended to a lesser offense, or 3. You could receive a "Suspended Imposition of Sentence" (basically a probation sentence) which would result in "No Conviction" on your record. Yes I would recommend that you retain an attorney as this IS a "criminal" charge and an attorney can do much for you in the way of a good disposition of your matter. Most attorneys should be able to help you towards a disposition like number 3 or 2 listed above.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    You should have hired a lawyer before you paid the store a civil demand of $425 for $200 worth of merchandise, especially if they got the merchandise back. A lawyer would have told you not to pay them. And yes, you still need a lawyer to represent you. Misdemeanor or not, shoplifting carries penalties of fines, costs and potential jail time. You will probably be sentenced to probation, but you should never face a prosecutor and a judge alone.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Law Offices of Lee and Baghoomian, P.C.
    Law Offices of Lee and Baghoomian, P.C. | Joseph Lee
    You are likely not facing any form of jail time, etc. It is important that you contact an attorney to help you either have the charges reduced, or to have the case expunged. I'm sure it was just a silly decision, however you do not want this lingering on your record forever. Feel free to call our offices for a free consult.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Most likely a fine, or possibly a deferred disposition and fine and community service.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 8/16/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Probation, probably.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/16/2012
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