If I’m 17 and I was caught shoplifting a pair of $50 jeans, what can I expect?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I’m 17 and I was caught shoplifting a pair of $50 jeans, what can I expect?

This is my first offense and I have nothing on my record. Will the police tell my school?

Asked on November 26, 2011 under Criminal Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, for a first offense shoplifting charge of $50, the court can allow for a special probation called "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing tool that allows a person charged with a crime to clear their criminal record so long as all terms of the probation have successfully completed.

The way it works is like this: the defendant appears before a judge and pleads guilty to the offense. They issue a probation (typically community service, payment of the fine, restitution, etc). At such point that all conditions are met in full, the plea is withdrawn and the case is dismissed. In effect, the case is "diverted" out of the criminal justice system. You will be left with a clean criminal history record.

You may want to speak with a criminal law attorney, especially since diversion is only available to first-time offenders. If they can get the charge dropped on a technicality or the like, then diversion would be available to you should it ever be needed in the future.

Finally, I can see no reason why your school would need to be informed of any of this.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption