What to do if I was caught shoplifting $450 worth of goods but have never been in trouble with the law before?

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What to do if I was caught shoplifting $450 worth of goods but have never been in trouble with the law before?

I am 23 years old a 3.0 college student. Do I need an attorney? Will this forever be on my record? How can I get the charges dismissed?

Asked on September 8, 2013 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you need an attorney as soon as you can get one.  While it is true that Petty Theft charges are often able to be wittled down by attorneys, understand that they are indeed misdemeanors and the maximum penalties for most first-time petty theft convictions are a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), up to six (6) months in county jail, or both.  You do not need a record following you the rest of your life - a life that you have a great start and potential to do gerat things with. So go and get a lawyer now.


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