What’s going to happen to me when I go to court for a first offense misdeameanor for shoplifting?

I got caught shoplifting at a store and got a ticket for misdemeanor and have court next month. I don’t have documentation since I’m an immigrant in the US. This is the first time I have done something like this and was wondering what’s going to happen to me when I go to court? Will I be sent to jail or will I just have to pay a fine? I told the officer that I was guilty and so when I go to court I don’t think that I can say I am not since he probably put it in his report. Will I get deported because of this? Should I get a lawyer or are the free ones from the court good enough? I don’t have much money.

Asked on January 5, 2011 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I know that you must be very nervous about all of this.  The best thing for you to do is to have an attorney appointedon your behalf when you get before the Judge in Court.  Now, in New York certain misdemeanor offenses are considered deportable offenses.  It really depends on the type of offense before the court.  However, you can only be deported for these offenses if you plead guilty so it is very important that you speak with your attorney about the facts and circumstances surrounding the offense and what he or she may be able to work out with the prosecuting attorney.  And in the meantime try and do what you can to obtain a visa and become legal so you do not have to worry.  Good luck.


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