What i have to do if i been charge for shoplifting?

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What i have to do if i been charge for shoplifting?

I have been charge for shoplifting
in walmart in Washington dc for
first time and i have to go to
court

Asked on December 10, 2016 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as yours in which you have no prior criminal record, the court may allow for a special probation called "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing tool that allows a person clear their criminal record upon its successful completion. The way it works is like this: you'll go to court and plead guilty to the charge; the judge will then issue a probation (typically community service, payment of the fine, resitution, etc); if the sentence is fully completed then your plea will be withdrawn and your case dismissed. In effect, the case is "diverted" out of the criminal justice system. Accordingly, you will be left with a clean criminal history record. However, at this point you may want to consult with a criminal law attorney. The fact is that diversion is only available to first-time offenders. So if your lawyer can get the charge dropped on a technicality or the like, diversion would still be available to you in the future should you ever need it.


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