If this is my first offense will i get jail time. I just wont to know cause i would plead for anything other than jail time if i could help it.

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If this is my first offense will i get jail time. I just wont to know cause i would plead for anything other than jail time if i could help it.

ok i was arrested for stealing $323.99 worth of cloths out of Dillards. Im 18 years old and its my first offense ever. I live in St. Rose, Louisiana. I have a clean record and im about to start college. I just wont to know if the judge wold give me jail time. the crime happened in Dillards mall in Kenner, Louisiana.

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice in Louisiana, there appear to be a few issues at play given the facts that you have provided.  First, most states have diversionary programs available to first time offenders for these types of charges.  The diversionary programs avoid a plea, and usually if successfully completed result in the dismissal of the charges.  Thus, there may be a diversionary program available to you.  Second, usually anytime anyone enters a plea it is part of a deal that is negotiated with the prosecutor.  Thus, you will know prior to entering the plea if the prosecutor is offering a resolution that does or does not involve serving a period of incarceration.  You have a constitutional right to plead not guilty and take your case to trial; therefore, if you are not amenable to the deal offered by the prosecution, you are under no obligation to accept it and plea.  Finally, it may be possible to resolve this charge without the use of a diversionary program or a plea; in other words, you may have a defensible case that you can thrown out on other grounds.  Although it is impossible to determine whether this is, in fact, the case in your interest, I highly recommend that you consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney in the interest of evaluating the strength of the state's evidence and the merits of any potential defenses that may be available to you in order to obtain the most favorable resolution of these charges possible.


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