I was charged with petty larceny i was caught shoplifting about 85 dollars worth of merchandise. Is there anything i can ask them to reduce my charge?

reduce my charge so that it will not be on my record?

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York


S.J.H., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Normally, if this is your first offense, the District Attorney will consider giving you what is known as an ACOD Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. This means the case is postponed for 6 months to a year and as long as you stay out of trouble the charges will be dismissed and the file sealed. In order to get this normally though you will have to repay whatever was stolen and do some community service. In the alternative, you could agree to plead guilty to a reduced charge which is a violation and not a crime and will not be on your record. These options vary depending on the county in which the case is pending.  

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you don't already have a record, it's possible that you can go into a program that will take a guilty plea and put you on probation, without actually entering a judgment.  This is called deferred sentencing, and if you complete the probation without any more troubles, the charges will be dropped.  You should think about getting an attorney to help you get this.

I very much doubt that there's a charge that's less serious than petty larceny for $85.

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