What will happen if I’m convicted of first offense shoplifting?

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What will happen if I’m convicted of first offense shoplifting?

Asked on July 6, 2011 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First of all, shoplifting is a criminal offense so you should have legal representation in this matter.  Experienced counsel might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality.  Also, since you are a first-time offender, a criminal law attorney may also be able to arrange for something known in most states as "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing program whereby you would plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion your plea would then be withdrawn and the case dismissed.  As part of this your criminal record would be automatically be cleared. 

Note:  Diversion is only given to first-time offenders. Therefore if you get into trouble again, it will not be available for you regarding any subsequent charge(s).  So if you get an attorney and he or she gets the case dismissed, you will be eligible for diversion in the future if you should need it.


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