What to do if I am 17 years old and was arrsted for shoplifting?

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What to do if I am 17 years old and was arrsted for shoplifting?

I attempted to steal 2 pants equaling about $170. I would like to know what the charge would be? What degree of larceny is this? Can I get it erased from my record the same day?

Asked on October 21, 2012 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since shoplifting is a criminal offense you should have legal representation. A lawyer might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality or at least get it reduced. However, you are a first-time offender so you should be eligible for what is called "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing program whereby you will plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation and upon successful completion your plea will be withdrawn and the case dismissed. Additionally, your record should be automatically cleared.

However, diversion is typically only allowed for a first offense. Therefore, if you ever get into trouble again it will not be available to you at that time. This is why if you get an attorney who gets the charge dismissed, you will be eligible for diversion in the future if you should need it. 


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