What to do if I’ve been caught for shoplifting $39 worth of merchandise?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I’ve been caught for shoplifting $39 worth of merchandise?

I have already received the civil letter totaling $195, which I am going to pay today. I have been picked up by the LP team and arrested by the police. They have given me a DAT ticket to appear in court next week. It is my first time offense. Will this remain record or I can have it sealed. I know that my state does not offer expungement.. Should I hire a legal attorney for such matter? I am really worried as I am starting medical program and in loan process. Stupid mistake that can jeopardize my future.

Asked on June 24, 2014 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You need to damage control your mistake and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can negotiate what's known as an ACD on your behalf.  It is not an admission of guilt or a conviction of any kind.  It is simply a mechanism where the cases is postpooned for 6 months, and if you perform certain punishment and stay out of trouble for those six months then all of the charges are dismissed and sealed.  See, Criminal Procedure Law section 170.55 for more info.

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You need to damage control your mistake and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can negotiate what's known as an ACD on your behalf.  It is not an admission of guilt or a conviction of any kind.  It is simply a mechanism where the cases is postpooned for 6 months, and if you perform certain punishment and stay out of trouble for those six months then all of the charges are dismissed and sealed.  See, Criminal Procedure Law section 170.55 for more info.

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The lowest-level theft offense in New York is called "petit larceny," or petty theft, which is the unlawful taking of property or services valued at no more than $1,000. New York law classifies petit larceny as a class A misdemeanor. (N.Y. Penal Law § 155.25.)

A sentence for conviction of a class A misdemeanor in New York may include imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $1,000. (Penal Law § 70.15, § 80.05(1).) So yes, get a lawyer.  He or she can help negotiate the situation if possible and if the matter is reduced and you are not convicted in any way you can seal with arrest record. ASk about that.

Now, as for the Civil Demand letter, I suggest that you not pay anything at this time and speak with your lawyer.  The store can not collect more than the merchandise would have been worth and you would have to be ordered to pay restitution for that amount. 


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption