What can I do if my son was arrested for shoplifting a $49 item?

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What can I do if my son was arrested for shoplifting a $49 item?

Asked on January 24, 2016 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Since shoplifting is a criminal offense, your son should consider retaining legal counsel. An experienced criminal defense lawyer might be able to get the charge dismissed or reduced. Also, assuming he is a first-time offender, he may be offered "diversion" which is an alternative sentencing program. Puruant to this, he will have go to court and plead guilty to the charge, however he will receive a special probation and upon its successful completion, his plea will be withdrawn and his case dismissed. 
Notwithstanding the above, diversion is only allowed for a first offense which means that if your son ever again gets arrested, it will not be available to him for any future charge(s). Therefore, if you hire an attorney to defend him, and they get the case dismissed, he will be eligible for diversion should he ever again need it.


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