i was cought in macys befor few days my first time .amt $200 want to know abt Deferred Judgement Program to keep everything off the record

court date is next month it was my first time .the total amt around $200 .My husband dont know anything abt it…if he come to know my marrige will end so plz help me i want to know abt Deferred Judgement Program …i read it somewhere(A diversion or deferred judgment program will have the charges dropped under the stipulation that you do not commit another crime in the course of your determined probation period. While you’ll still be responsible for paying court fees and fines, one of these programs will keep the charge of petty theft off your permanent record)i am ready to do any community s

Asked on July 7, 2009 under Criminal Law, California


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the State of California, here are my initial impressions.  While the diversionary program may end up being an appropriate (and the best) option available to you to resolve these charges favorably (and have them dismissed and removed from your record) I certainly do not recommend that you simply opt for the program without first consulting with and/or retaining a criminal defense attorney.  The reason for this is twofold.  First, diversionary programs are often only available to first time offenders.  Therefore, once you use it, it is not available again.  Thus, if there is a different way to get this case dismissed/erased from your record that does not involve using the program then you should probably go that route rather and preserve the diversionary program as an option just in case something else ever happens to you in the future.  Obviously, you will need to consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney to determine if favorable resolution without the use of the program is a possibility in your case.  Second, as my colleague aptly points out, retaining a criminal defense attorney will ensure that the application/completion of the program goes smoothly.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT and practice in this area of the law.  The diversionary program is definately appropriate here.  Since you have no record, you can usually get the state to see this as an isolated event based on your bad judgment.  The amount of money that was stolen is very nominal and is probably carries the least severe theft penalty.  Nevertheless, i suggest that you hire a lawyer to ensure that you gain entry into the program if you can afford it as it is worth not having to have a criminal record should the state's atty not let you use the program.

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