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


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you enter a guilty plea, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion your plea would then be withdrawn and the case dismissed.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. 

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