What should I do I got my misdemeanor for petty theft?

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What should I do I got my misdemeanor for petty theft?

I heard of diversion program, I really don’t want it on my record, I am guilty. How I can fix this mess?

Asked on May 12, 2017 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Such a charge a charge may consequences that can affect your future (e.g. employment). If you are a first-time offender, there may be ways of avoiding a conviction with the right legal assistance. Early intervention is your best chance of success, so it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as you can since there will be opportunities to settle or negotiate your case at the start that won’t exist later. Depending on what stage your case it at, and the exact nature of the accusations against you, an attorney may be able to help you reach an out-of-court or a civil compromise; they may also be able to get the charge dismissed or reduced, or get you something known as "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing program whereby you will plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion the charge will be withdrawn and your case dismissed. You do not need an attorney for this. However, diversion is only allowed for a first offense, so if you get into trouble again, it will not be available to you at that time. That's why if you get an attorney and they get the your case dismissed, you will be eligible for diversion in the future if you should need it


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