Shoplifting at 17

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Shoplifting at 17

Today in target I stole 3 false lashes, two eyeliners, and a necklace. The items that
were stolen all lead up to be 62.00 dollars. The store’s security came and
stopped me, they said that since I’m 17 living in Texas I am considered an adult.
They didn’t hand cuff me, they gave me a citation and said that I can’t come back.
So now I have to go to court within 30 days since this is my first offense and
shoplifting what can I expect in court and will I need an attorney.

Asked on March 17, 2017 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A shoplifting charge is a criminal offense, therefore you should try to get legal representation. An experienced criminal defense lawyer might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality. Even if that's not possible, you can ask for "diversion" (or your state's equivalent) which is an alternative sentencing program. With such a program, you will plead guilty, receive a special probation, and upon its successfully completion the charge will be withdrawn and your case will be dismissed. Typically, your record will automatically be cleared (however, in some states you may have to apply to get your record "expunged"). That having been said, diversion is allowed for a first offense only. What this means is that if you  againget into trouble, it will not be available to you. That's why if you get an attorney who can get your case dismissed, you'll be eligible for diversion in the future should you ever need it.


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