If my son was caught shoplifting and previously had felony charges on another matter dismissed, what can we expectfor sentencing?

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If my son was caught shoplifting and previously had felony charges on another matter dismissed, what can we expectfor sentencing?

My 16 year-old son was caught shoplifting a tennis ball from a store. He has had a felony 
B&E dismissed. We were lucky enough to be facing the same judge again. What does the worst case scenario look like?

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Having charges dismissed, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony, should have no relevance to the disposition of new charges.  In other words, in light of the fact that our justice system presumes innocence until PROVEN guilty, if charges are dismissed then the defendant's presumption of innocence remains.  In any event, shoplifting charges for a minor usually are not that serious.  Often times, they can be resolved via a diversionary program so that there is no conviction.  In any event, in light of the fact that this may be a pattern of behavior on behalf of your son, I suggest that you speak with and/or retain a local criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that your son can protect his interests going forward.  Good luck.


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