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What is going to happen

Got charged for shoplifting

Asked on November 8, 2017 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is a criminal offense, so you really should consult directly with an attorney who might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality. The sooner you get legal help the better the potential outcome. Even if the charge doesn't get dropped, assuming that this is your first offense, you can ask the prosecutor for something known as "diversion". This is an alternative sentence whereby you enter a plea of guilty and receive probation but upon successful its completion, your plea is withdrawn and the charge dismissed. In such cases, as a general rule, a criminal history record will automatically be cleared (although in some jurisdictions you may have to apply to get it cleared, that is "expunged"). However, diversion is only allowed for first time offenses. Accordingly, if you get into trouble again it will not be available to you at that time. Therefore, if you can get a lawyer now and they can the case dismissed, you will be eligible for diversion in the future should you ever need it.


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