What will happen to me regarding a shoplifting charge?

I was at a store with my 18 year old daughter and the girl that gave us a ride. I knew something was up and I didn’t want to make a scene and i feel like an idiot. I should have stopped it. Anyway, I paid for my things and we were walking out, we were stopped and taken to the back of the store. I didn’t even know what was in my purse because I did not put it in there. I was arrested along with them anyway. Since I basically knew something was going on and didn’t stop it, even though I didn’t physically do it. I’m still guilty. I don’t know what to do. We have court next week. I don’t know what to say other than, I’m guilty of not stopping it but I am not guilty of putting anything in my purse. I don’t know what else to say. What is going to happen? I’m scared. This judge hates me too; he gave me a lot of problems when trying to get custody of my granddaughter.

Asked on April 3, 2017 under Criminal Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since a shoplifting charge is a criminal offense (and you have a history with the judge), you should try to get a criminal defense attorney to represent you. They might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality. Even if they can't, then if this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a porgram known as "diversion" or "deferred adjudication". This is an alternative sentencing program wherein you will go to court and plead guilty, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion, your plea will be withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Typically, your criminal record will be cleared automaically, although in some states you may have to apply to get your record "expunged". That all having been said, since diversion is allowed for a first time offenses only, if you get into trouble again, it will not be available to you. That's why if you get a lawyer who can get your case dismissed, you'll be eligible for it in the future should you ever need it.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Since a shoplifting charge is a criminal offense (and you have a history with the judge), you should try to get a criminal defense attorney to represent you. They might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality. Even if they can't, then if this is your first offense, you may be eligible for a porgram known as "diversion" or "deferred adjudication". This is an alternative sentencing program wherein you will go to court and plead guilty, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion, your plea will be withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Typically, your criminal record will be cleared automaically, although in some states you may have to apply to get your record "expunged". That all having been said, since diversion is allowed for a first time offenses only, if you get into trouble again, it will not be available to you. That's why if you get a lawyer who can get your case dismissed, you'll be eligible for it in the future should you ever need it.


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