What will happen in court for a first offense shoplifting charge?

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What will happen in court for a first offense shoplifting charge?

I was caught shoplifting today with $72.80 of merchandise, none of which was damaged. They took me to their office and took my license and social security numbers. They were going to take a picture of me but then decided not to because I was under 18. I will be 18 in a month. They called the police, and the police made me call my mom and tell her what had happened. He told me to show up in court in a month and said that I will probably just have community service and that my charge would be said has innocent. Does this mean my charge is dismissed; will it be on my permanent record? What documents do I need to show up with? Do I need a parent with me? Will the store charge me a fine?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

At the first appearance you have concerning the shoplifting charge against you, you will be arraigned where you will be requested to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. If you are 18 at the arraignment, you can appear without your parents. Otherwise you need them to attend with you.

As to the ultimate sentence to be imposed against you, that decision will be with the judge assuming you plea guilty to the charge or are convicted after a trial. I suggest that you consult with a criminal defense attorney as to the situation you have gotten yourself into.

You could be given court probation where you get community service time and if you have no problems with the law during that time period, the charge against you would be dismissed. You do not need to show up with any documents at your first appearance.

The store that you took the merchandise from could attempt to bring a civil lawsuit against you for the expense it incurred as the result of the shoplifting.


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