What can be done If I was charged with shoplifting?

My friends and I were caught shoplifting. I took nothing personally but I knew that they were stealing. I walked out of the store with them holding nothing, however they got caught and we all got in trouble. I don’t want this to go on my record; it’s a first time offence. Unfortunately, I’m 18 so I’m most likely screwed.

Asked on May 15, 2017 under Criminal Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

At your arraignment, you will be requested to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. Since you are 18 at the arraignment, you can appear on your own without your parents. However, you really should consult with a criminal defense attorney as to your situation. They may be able to get the charge dismissed. At the very leaset, you could be given "diversion" if requested which is a special court probation wherein you get community service time, etc. and if you have no problems with the law during that time, the charge against you would be dismissed and your would be record clear. Again, speak with a criminal defense attorney regarding this incident; they can best advise you further.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

At your arraignment, you will be requested to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. Since you are 18 at the arraignment, you can appear on your own without your parents. However, you really should consult with a criminal defense attorney as to your situation. They may be able to get the charge dismissed. At the very leaset, you could be given "diversion" if requested which is a special court probation wherein you get community service time, etc. and if you have no problems with the law during that time, the charge against you would be dismissed and your would be record clear. Again, speak with a criminal defense attorney regarding this incident; they can best advise you further.


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