What to do regarding a shoplifting charge?

The amount was $90 worth of items; they were all returned. This is my first offense as well.

Asked on November 4, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Shoplifting is a criminal offense so you should have legal representation in this matter if possible. an experienced lawyer might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality, etc. If hiring an attorney is not an option, then you could ask the prosecutor for what is called "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing program for first time offenders. In a diversion, you enter a guilty plea, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion your plea would then be withdrawn and the case dismissed.  As part of this your criminal record history would be cleared automatically. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.