Should I plead guilty or not guilty to a first offense theft charge?

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Should I plead guilty or not guilty to a first offense theft charge?

I am scheduled to go to court in a couple of weeks regarding an issue with my previous employer. I am accused of stealing a frozen bag of chicken breast (price $5.00). I did not intentionally steal the bag. I thought that I had rung it throw the cash registerbut on the store’s camera it looks like I intentionally stole it. What should I do?

Asked on September 13, 2011 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

Maury Beaulier / MinnesotaLawyers.com

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for the inquiry.
 
A theft offense can be very serious.  While any theft under $500 is a misdemeanor. Such an offense is still punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.  The collateral consequences of a conviction can also be extremely significant and preclude a person from finding employment where background checks are performed. 
 
Often, if you have no prior offenses, a conviction can be avoided with a Stay of Prosecution.  A Stay of Prosecution means that the offense is never recorded on your record and stayed for a certain period of time to ensure that you do not have another offense.  
 
We can assist you in making sure that your record is not affected. 
 
For a FREE consultation call 612.240.8005.


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