What will happen after shoplifting if I have a previous juvenile record? 34 Answers as of July 08, 2013

I had a juvenile record for petty theft as a misdemeanor. I believe it was expunged. I am eighteen now. I recently shoplifted from a military base. The security forces told me that I would only have to appear in court to see how much much the judge would fine me. I have been looking online and I have seen replies similar to my case and there have been replies about going to jail and paying a $1,000 fine. Is that true? I was hoping that I would just go to court, ask to do a pre-trial diversion program and get my case dismissed. Is this possible? I did not request for a lawyer since I was told that I would only pay fines. If I do get charged with the fines, will I be able to expunge my case? I need advice. Do I really need a lawyer? If so, what can I do since I have already signed that I do not need one. I do not have money for that.

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need all the facts and circumstances to answer better, but I think you should request a lawyer if they will allow you to change your mind. Also it is possible that federal charges could be brought since it happened on a military base. If no federal charges are filed, the punishment may just be fines or it may possibly involve jail time. The amount of fines depends on the exact charges, the statutory limits and the judge's discretion in giving minimum or maximum fines.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/20/2012
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
Yes, I would advise you to contact a lawyer. Under Michigan law, youthful offenders between the ages of 17-21 may be eligible for the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act which would seal any conviction off a person's general public record. However, this type of plea is only available upon special agreement. People may only be fined for a conviction for a misdemeanor. However, a misdemeanor is still a misdemeanor and will stay on a person's record unless they are a juvenile, are participating in a diversionary program to seal the conviction, after five years, successfully file a motion to expunge their conviction, or if the judge, for whatever reason, decides to set-aside the conviction. You should contact a local attorney to assist you with this matter.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/17/2012
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
I do not know the effect of the fact it was on military property. If the amount is under $50, then it is a fine only. If it is more than $50 then it carries the potential for jail.time. Since you have a prior you won't get a pretrial if it is over $50 - you will want a deferred adjudication probation in that situation. If it is under $50, try your best to get a deferred prosecution bit that will be tough. If you pay a fine, it is a final conviction and will remain on your record. You really need a lawyer representing you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/13/2012
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
You cannot "expunge" your charges. The best that you can hope for is to get the charges dismissed. If that is done prior to arraignment, it should not appear on your record. The court will not appoint a lawyer because there is no potential for jail if convicted on a first offense shoplifting charge, only a fine. However, the fine is not the extent of your problems. The main issue is your record which will be with you for life. Speak with an attorney who practices in the court where you are going. Ask if he/she can get the charge dismissed prior to arraignment. No one can guarantee this, but I usually can tell a potential client what our chances are of getting this type of outcome. No matter what anyone (but the judge) tells you, it will be a gamble and only you know what you are willing to spend to take the risk. I would risk a lot to have the chance to avoid a criminal record. Especially in this terrible economy where getting any job, even without a record, is so hard to do.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/11/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Yes you need a lawyer to advise you since a larceny conviction can follow you the rest of your life. What employer want to hire a Thief?
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/8/2013
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
    The charge is a misdemeanor but upon a third charge it is a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Criminal Offenses occuring on military bases are heard in the U.S. District courts, ususally by a magistrate. The punishment can be a fine bur could also be imprisonment or probation.There will be a record of your arrest and conviction andthere is little chance ever of an expungement. As you do not have any money to hire an attorney you should advise the court that you have reconsidered and request that an attorney be appointed to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    Juvenile records are usually not admissible in adult proceedings. Shoplifting is punishable by incarceration and fines. As a 1st time adult offender, you may be eligible for a program.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 1/9/2012
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    It is not possible to say with certainty without more information. If you are being charged with shoplifting and have a prior criminal record there is a chance that you may receive jail time and/or a fine. You should certainly consider hiring an attorney any time you are facing criminal charges. Even if your record is expunged, it may still be accessed by certain agencies if you are applying for jobs or schools in the future. For this reason it is very important not to take any risks which might jeopardize your future.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    You should talk to a lawyer. You can have one appointed at no cost by the court. As for what will happen you will probably be sentenced to jail but the sentence will be suspended conditioned on you paying a fine (which will depend on the court and the amount of the goods you stole). You might be able to get pretrial diversion but with a previous juvenile theft the DA might not offer it.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Yes you need to consult an attorney. You do not mention if you are being charged in state or federal court. In either case there are systems for requesting court appointed counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Probation and Fine.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/20/2013
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If you are a member of the armed forces, which it sounds from your letter that you are, this is a military offense, which you need advice from a military law expert. However, if you are a civilian, and are going to a civilian court, you should retain counsel to insure you that the matter will not be a permanent mark on your record. If you were arrested, and fingerprinted and had a mug shot taken, it could be a mark on your arrest record. You must get court diversion or, if in Illinois, supervision, if you hope to have this expunged at a later date, anything else is a conviction, for which you will never be able to get an expungement.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/6/2012
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    The Juvi record should noteffect the disposition of the petty theft BUT it often does. Get a lawyer. If you can't afford one get the Public Defender. The trouble with petty theft convictions is that if you pick up another they will charge it as a felony. Guys with two strikes (not you of course) who pick up a petty as a felony are three strikes eligible. Frightening, no? Get out of your nasty habit of stealing. It will only cause you grief. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    If this was on a military base, were you charged in the military court or a local city court? Your previous juvenile record should not have an effect on this charge as those records are sealed when you become an adult. You should be eligible fora diversion for a first offense as an adult. An attorney would not be a bad idea since you seem to have a number of questions about this procedure.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    If you don't have money for a lawyer, you can ask to have one appointed for you. The maximum penalty for any misdemeanor is 12 months in jail and/or a $1000 fine. In practice, the penalty is usually much less, especially if you have no prior adult offenses.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    Discuss all options with an attorney in person. Simply conceding the case, or pleading guilty, could have longterm consequences. If you EVER apply for a job, apply to a school, or to anything else, then those entities are usually interested in knowing about past theft convictions (even fines).
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    Unfortunately, the answer to a lot of your questions depends on which court you are in. Go the first time, plead Not Guilty, and see what they are offering. If they are offering pretrial diversion then you should probably take it. I doubt they will have access to your juvenile record. Usually though, pretrial diversion is a one shot deal. So if this ever happens again, they would not offer it to you again.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Juvy records are sealed and won't be used against you for your new adult charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    It depends on the amount of theft that you are alleged to have stolen. You may be looking at jail time and a large fine as well as restitution but it depends on the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | Melissa Hoffman
    I advise all criminal defendants to retain counsel, regardless of whether imprisonment is a possibility Even if you end up resolving the matter without going to trial, you will still be required to make a formal plea before the court which can carry many consequences which may not be apparent without an attorney involved. Even if you only pay fines, you will likely face some type of probation, with its own set of rules and consequences. An attorney serves as your advocate, to not only negotiate the best possible outcome for you, but also to ensure you successfully comply with the terms of your sentence. Simply because you indicated you did not need an attorney previously does not waive your right to retain one. If you feel you cannot afford an attorney, inquire into whether you you qualify from court appointed counsel. In Massachusetts, the Probation Department should have performed a screening at your arraignment to determine your eligibility for a court appointed attorney. You can start by contacting them to determine what steps you can take to obtain counsel at this stage. You can always go the route of hiring a private attorney as well.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Pre-Trial Diversion is typically available in the Juvenile Court. You are likely in a Federal Court if the shop-lifting occurred on a military base. When you do not ask for a lawyer, you are left with no real direction, and advice cannot be accurately given via an e-mail. You should reconsider getting an attorney so that you know exactly what you are doing and exactly what the consequences may be. Otherwise, you are left asking a question on the internet and getting advice which is worth exactly what you paid for. My advice is to hire an attorney to get some real advice.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Shoplifting from a military base may be a federal case. If its a California state case it is charged as a commercial burglary case. Depending on the amount taken it will be a misdemeanor or felony case. If it is a misdemeanor the court will not treat the juvenile case as a prior. A first time misdemeanor for this maximum pinilities is one year in county jail and or up to $1,000.00 fine. You should get a fine and three years summary probation. Whenever you go to court you will be facing an attorney that is presenting the other side. You should always have your own attorney to represent your side. Not having your own attorney is like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Russman Law
    Russman Law | Ryan Russman
    Unfortunately I cannot forecast what the Court will do if you are convicted. They do consider your prior record and can take it into account when determining a sentence. You really should obtain a lawyer to ensure the best result.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC
    Raiser & Kenniff, PC | Steve Raiser
    You must retain an attorney since a jail sentence or a sentence to probation is possible. This is not a charge that you should take lightly.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If you are in the military they usually tell you to waive a lawyer and just plead guilty. That military conviction can be a problem in the future. You did not get your previous case expunged if it was in New york State. you may have gotten a Youthful Offender Treatment disposition and that would not be a criminal conviction but that will hurt your chances of getting into the military or getting promoted. It will be a problem getting a government job and sometimes it will be searchable for job applications, college admissions, or if you want to be a lawyer or a doctor. You are a thief and a bad decision maker. You decided to steal again and risk your future for a few dollars, and you did it on a military base. If you are in the service and stole from a military store you also risked your career in the military. You should retain an attorney to handle any criminal case and if you are indigent you will have an attorney assigned to handle the case. Life is about making good decisions. You should study hard, find a career that you love, and work hard. You should follow the law and build a good reputation. It is not too late to change your life but you will have to start making good decisions and stay out of trouble. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Attorney at Law | Ruchee Patel
    You need a lawyer on any criminal matter, and if you can't afford one then you can ask for one to be appointed. Depending on the value of the property stolen, yes the criminal offense carries a maximum punishment of jail time, restitution and fines. Having a juvenile record for the same offense may disqualify you for diversion. You can only get an expungement if you complete diversion and pay any fines, restitution and court costs. If you don't get a lawyer, your choice is to plead guilty or go to trial, usually the State will not make you an offer directly.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    ABSOLUTELY hire an attorney. Shoplifting is a crime of moral turpitude and could prevent you from ever getting a normal job. Don't just pay a fine and put it on your record. That is the worst thing you could do. Hire an attorney and either get it dismissed, pretrial intervention or deferred adjudication probation. And don't screw up on the probation and get it on your record.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A theft offense can be very serious. Prosecutors are less likely to offer reasonable resolutions if you have a prior record. A conviction would leave an indelible mark on your record and it can impact future employment and other opportunities. As a result, an aggressive defense is necessary. As a misdemeanor offense, a theft under $500 is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. Often, however, with the assistance of counsel, you may be able to avoid a conviction with a Stay of Prosecution which, upon completion of certain conditions, may result in a dismissal of the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In New Hampshire, shoplifting is a misdemeanor if the value of the goods is less than $1000. If you are charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is $2,000 fine and up to 12 months at the county jail. If you are charged with a Class B misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is a $1,2000 fine. You are required to go to your arraignment where you would enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Generally speaking , you cannot just go to court, ask for a pre-trial diversion and get your case dismissed in NH. I advise that you speak with an attorney immediately about your case. You may face just fines but shoplifting is a crime and a guilty finding would result in a criminal record. You cannot just pay fines and have your case "expunged" in NH. In NH, expungement does not exist - it is called an annulment and there are certain statutory requirements prior to filing your petition to annul a record of arrest or conviction. Additionally, your juvenile record in NH is never "expunged." It is considered confidential and not subject to public disclosure.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Your juvenile case could not be expunged until you were 21 so you were misinformed. If it is misdemeanor theft and the State of Washington handles the prosecution, you can be sentenced up to 365 days in jail. Given the tax revenue shortage in Washington it is unlikely you will see much jail time but it's a possibility. If you want to increase the odds of jail, make restitution to the PX and ask them if they would sign off on a Compromise of Misdemeanor. If they won't it will still look good to the judge that you took responsibility for your misconduct and are making amends. There's also a theft prevention class you can take through the probation department of the court you are in. Do these three things and be prepared to apologize to the court, the prosecutor and the store and you have a decent chance of getting Work Crew instead of jail.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Shoplifting is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine.. So, yes, you could go to jail. Whether the judge imposes jail time or gives you a suspended sentence, or even allows a diversion, depends upon the particular facts of your case. My recommendation is that you retain the services of an attorney so they can help you examine all the issues. Please bear in mind that the criminal charge is only one aspect. If you are convicted. even if you do no jail time.. It could have long term implications affecting future employment. It could also disqualify you from attending certain colleges and universities, as well as disqualify you from any student loans, grants, and scholarships. This is potentially serious. My advice: Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/5/2012
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    You need to look into hiring an attorney. Usually Juvenile records are sealed, but the arrest may show up and they prosecutor may push for some jail time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2012
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