If I’m a 20 year old and am charged with 4th degree theft and credit fraud but this is my first offense, how does this look for me as far as punishment?

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If I’m a 20 year old and am charged with 4th degree theft and credit fraud but this is my first offense, how does this look for me as far as punishment?

Something told me to use a debit card left at the store I work at, and so I did it. Spent $250 on things I knew I didn’t need. I had so much guilt that I turned myself in less than 48 hours later. I have a perfect record and I am in the military. And how do I go beyond this to get help so it doesn’t happen again?

Asked on January 22, 2015 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact that this is your first offense will be helpful, as well as the fact that you turned yourself in. There are programs for just this sort of situation that, if you are accepted into, can leave you with a clear criminal history record. That having been said, you really should consult directly with a criminal lawyer on this matter. Any time that criminal charges are involved, having legal representation is best. They can use their contacts with the court to advocate more effectively on your behalf. Also, you are in the miitary, so how this all might affect your status is something for a defense attorney to consider and help you with.


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