If I got caught shoplifting and now have a court date, what do I do?

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If I got caught shoplifting and now have a court date, what do I do?

I’m 17 years old and 5 months ago I made the biggest mistake of my life; I stole. I’m not the kind of person that does anything like that but neverthe less I did. My brother and I shoplifted; I got $360 worth of stuff and he had $100. We got a letter in the mail from the store asking us to pay and a lawyer told us to ignore it so we did. Now 5 months later I got a letter for a court date, only me not my brother. I have never had a thing on my record and the store said that I may be able to get it expunged. Can someone please help me with this? I know it was a mistake and I will never do anything like this again.

Asked on May 14, 2012 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your first court date will be your arraignment in which you will be given an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, a pre trial date will be set, you will be allowed to hire an attorney or have one appointed by the court, and you can decide whether to plead guilty or set a tral date if you decide not to plead guilty. Usually, if you are a first time offender, the court will offer either a pre trail diversion program, or a deferred sentence which allows you to keep a clean criminal record so long as you comply with the courts conditions. 


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