What canI expect will happen regarding a shoplifting arrest?

I was arrested in the beginning of this week for shop lifting for an amount of about 7.00. I was taken to jail and let go with an ROR because I do not have any prior incidents except for traffic violations that were deferred and removed from my record. I was told it was a criminal offense; my released paperwork said misdemeanor. I have a “bond arraignment” 2 weeks from now and I am scared I am going to go to jail. I want to know what the class of misdemeanor this is, and what is the worst that could happen? I am terrified of being put in jail anymore.

Asked on August 18, 2011 New Mexico

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Although that amount will have a bearing on the matter in the end, petty theft or petty larceny in some states a/k/a "shoplifting" is still a misdemeanor offense in New Mexico and does carry with it fines and jail time. You will also have to pay back the store for the value of the merchandise, called restitution. Being your first offense is a plus but navigating the waters without an attorney is not a good idea. Please get legal help as soon as you possibly can.  You need to have someone there to stand up for you and to negotiate the matter to a level that it does not impact any more on your life, be it jail time or being left with a criminal record.  You seem to have learned your lesson.   


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