Will this shoplifting charge be on my record because I'm still a minor? 4 Answers as of May 20, 2014

I was caught shoplifting. I’m 17 and live in N.Y. This is my first time ever and the store called the police. I was arrested. However, after 2 hours, I was released and they gave me a DAT stating I have to go to court in 2 months. The police told me the judge will probably dismiss my case because I'm a first time offender. Do I need a lawyer? What is a DAT? Should I plead guilty? Next, when I got home that day, I noticed the security guard people put a restitution letter in my bag. They want me to pay $500 for damages made, which is not true because I gave everything back before entering the store’s jail in good condition. Do I need to pay that? Does this affect my parents account? I gave no information about them but they took a receipt that was in my bag that had my mom's store credit card account. Because originally that day, I went to the store to return some stuff, but somehow I ended up commenting a crime. Also, when I was arrested the police never told me my Miranda rights. Is that bad?

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Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Respectfully, you should not use this web site as a substitute for a lawyer. This is a matter that must be treated seriously. You ask many good questions but you should discuss them only in confidence with a lawyer. $500 is the least of your problems. That amount does not come close to covering the store's costs in legal fees etc. A lawyer will charge at least $2500 to represent you and that is money you must spend
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/20/2014
Hein, Waters & Klein
Hein, Waters & Klein | Irwin G. Klein
Even though you are only 17 years old and will most likely be given a break by the court and district attorney (if this is your first arrest) you are still charged with a class "A" misdemeanor which is a criminal offense. You should have a criminal defense attorney who can answer all of your questions and advise you of all of your options.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/20/2014
Law Office of Richard Southard
Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
Lots of questions... You are not a minor at 17 in New York. 16 and older are treated as adults in NY. You are charged with Petit Larceny, a class A misdemeanor punishable up to one year jail and $1000 fine or 3 years probation. If you are convicted of this charge you will have a criminal record unless the judge grants you youthful offender status. What record you have as a result of this arrest depends on the outcome. The judge will not dismiss your case and has no power to do so without the prosecutor's consent. A desk appearance ticket means you go back in a couple of months to see the judge rather than spend the night in jail. It was a good thing. You should not consider pleading guilty at all without discussing your case with a lawyer. You SHOULD hire a lawyer. I handle these cases all the time in the NYC area and work out deals with the prosecutor that keep my client from going to jail, no criminal record and getting the records sealed. The request for $500 is a civil demand under NY General Obligations Law which allows merchants to seek damages or if no damage recover security costs. If you hire an attorney who knows these cases, they can likely help you avoid paying that. Police failure to read Miranda warnings does not result in a dismissal of charges but may result in statements being thrown out that you made while being questioned in custody. Hire an attorney. There is much that can be done to help you and minimize the consequences of your mistake.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/20/2014
Rothstein Law PLLC
Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
You need to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Do not plead guilty. The Judge will not simply dismiss the case but there are ways to get the case dismissed. The store is entitled to seek the $500 civil demand regardless of whether they got the property back. However, I advise my clients not to pay and I write a letter to the store or its lawyer and direct them not to contact my client. That prevents them from contacting you anymore. The police do not have to read you Miranda unless you are in custody and being interrogated. The failure to read Miranda when required results in suppression of statements, not dismissal of the case.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/20/2014
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