What can I expect if I got picked up yesterday for retail theft?

I went to jail and got bonded out. I have a court date on the 24th of this month and am really nervous. This Is my first time ever getting into trouble. I feel terrible for what I did. I don’t know what I was thinking when I was doing It but, I did and now I’ve got to pay my consequences. Am I looking at more jail time; I am extremely worried about that? I just want to get all this out the way and do the right thing.

Asked on July 7, 2014 under Criminal Law, Iowa


Maury Beaulier / MinnesotaLawyers.com

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A theft offense can be very serious.  
In Minnesota, a theft with a value under $500 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.  A theft with a value between $500 and $1000 is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, and a theft with a value over $1000 is a felony with penalties that can result in prison time. 
The collateral consequences of any theft can often be as serious as the criminal penalties offering a lifetime of frustration which can impact employment, renting apartments, entrance in to post-secondary education and anything that requires a background check.  Accordingly, a strong defense is necessary.
If you have no prior offense, a from of community diversion may be available which keeps the offense off of your record and preserves your future.  
Many lawyers offer free consultations for criminal matters.  You would be wise to take advantage of such a  consultation with an experienced attorney.   

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the amount they allege you  took..  Since it's you're first offense, there is an excellent chance of resolving the case without going to jail and without having a criminal record.

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