Was caught shoplifting. My first offense, was curious to what steps I could take, and if possible to keep this off my record.

Was caught shoplifting, it is my first offense. Didn’t fight, struggle, or otherwise offer the security or officer any trouble. Wanted to know if there was any route to avoid this staying on my record, or what the best advice at hand would be.Also, was a little concerned with the officer that responded and continuously badgered and probed claims that I was on probation. (Clean record, my first offense.) It took him two checks until he’d finally accept the answer, even after instigating my mother and grandmother who were at the scene as well.I want to know if I can get this off record.

Asked on June 8, 2009 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Many states offer first time offenders opportunities to resolve their criminal matters in a way that will not result in anything permanent being on their record.  Where I practice, in Connecticut, for example, first time shoplifting offenders are often offered the opportunity to complete two days of community service in exchange for the charges being dismissed (i.e. removed from their record).  In other situations (for example, if the cost of the goods is not a nominal amount) there are pretrial diversionary programs that involve attending classes and completing a greater amount of community service, also in exhange for the dismissal of the charges.  In your particular case, one or more of these opportunities may be available, in addition to the fact that there may, based upon the particular facts of your case, be valid defenses to the actual criminal charges that exist.  I suggest that you consult with and/or retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss favorable resolutions of your charges based upon the specific facts of your case.


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