What to expect if I’m a first time offender with no priors who was arrested for a grand theft?

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What to expect if I’m a first time offender with no priors who was arrested for a grand theft?

I took $1,000 but returned it. Am I still going to get jail time?

Asked on August 23, 2013 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Returning the money will be taken into consideration by the court. However, it does not negate the fact that you committed a crime. Consequently, you face all penalties associated with a conviction on the charge, including jail time if applicable.

That having been said, making restitution will factor in the judge's decision of just what sentence to impose. The fact that you are a first-time offender will weigh in your favor. In fact, you may be able to arrange something know as "diversion" (or your state's equivalent). This is a legal device designed to help defendants who have no previous criminal history.

Basically, you will enter a guilty plea and in turn you will be given a special probation. If you successfully complete the terms of your probation, then your plea will be withdrawn and your case dismissed. The effect is to leave you with a clean criminal history record.

At this point, you really should consult directly with a criminal law attorney in your area; they can best advise you after they gave reviewed all of the facts of your case.


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