What to expect for a first time shoplifting offense?

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What to expect for a first time shoplifting offense?

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Asked on January 12, 2017 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Since you have no prior criminal record so are a first-time offender, the court may allow for a special probation known as "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing tool that allows a defendant to clear their criminal record upon successful completion. Basically, it works like this: you go to court and plead guilty to the charge; the judge then issues a probation such as community service, payment of the fine, resitution, etc; and if the sentence is fully completed then your plea is withdrawn and your case dismissed. Effectively then, the case is "diverted" out of the criminal justice system, so you will be left with a clean criminal history record. That having been said, you may want to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. The fact is that diversion is available to first-time offenders only, therefore if your attorney can get the charge dropped on a technicality, diversion would still be available to you in the future should you need it.

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Since you have no prior criminal record so are a first-time offender, the court may allow for a special probation known as "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing tool that allows a defendant to clear their criminal record upon successful completion. Basically, it works like this: you go to court and plead guilty to the charge; the judge then issues a probation such as community service, payment of the fine, resitution, etc; and if the sentence is fully completed then your plea is withdrawn and your case dismissed. Effectively then, the case is "diverted" out of the criminal justice system, so you will be left with a clean criminal history record. That having been said, you may want to consult with a criminal defense lawyer. The fact is that diversion is available to first-time offenders only, therefore if your attorney can get the charge dropped on a technicality, diversion would still be available to you in the future should you need it.


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