What should I say in court for a petty theft shoplifting charge?

UPDATED: Oct 23, 2014

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 23, 2014Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What should I say in court for a petty theft shoplifting charge?

I tried to take headphones that are valued at $50. I am a college student with no other encounters with the law. I obviously couldn’t afford to pay for the headphones. Is there a way that i would be able to pay a fine through community service?

Asked on October 23, 2014 under Criminal Law, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You should start by saying: may I have a lawyer. You need to plead not guilty because a conviction of theft will follow you the rest of your life.  There are generally diversion programs that will allow the charge to go away after you complete the program and stay clean for a period of time.  This is called an "ACD" : adjournment contemplating dismissal.  Then you will need to have the arrest record expunged and get your fingerprint cards back.  Get help.  Now.

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 lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption