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Hello everyone, I was handed a court appearance for a petit larceny offense. This is my first offense and my last.

Binghamton, NY |
Filed under: Shoplifting

I live in Broome County New York and the items I stole were under the value of 50 dollars. This is my first offense and I cooperated with the police in every way possible. She knew I wasn’t a bad person and just made a mistake, and I feel terrible. I was not arrested but I have a court appearance. I can’t afford to get this on my record because im a graduate and job searching.

I would rather not pay for a lawyer if I dont have to. I know it depends from county to county but I am hoping for a diversion program or if its even possible, id pray for the misdemeanor to be dropped to a violation or just a fine.

Any advice from a attorney who has experience in New York state with first time cases such as these would be greatly appreciated. I can only have myself to blame for my actions.

Attorney Answers 4


If you'd rather not hire a lawyer, you shouldn't have stolen anything. Your actions have consequences. The best way for you to minimize your consequences and ensure your future without a criminal conviction is to get a lawyer to advocate for these things for you, or get the public defender if you qualify.

No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia

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Get an attorney, it is a wise investment in your future.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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This forum is not a substitute for legal representation. The only way to ensure the best result is to seek help from the public defender or pay for a private attorney.

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You should seriously consider the assistance of an attorney to make strong legal and factual arguments in your favor as to why you deserve some sort of diversion program or a plea with alternative sentencing. Although, as a first time offender apparently willing to accept responsibility, you are a strong candidate for such programs, money spent on an attorney will pay for itself, as he or she will be able to better construct such arguments. As for your reluctance to pay for an attorney, the standard for obtaining assigned counsel (indigent representation) is whether you are functionally able to afford an attorney, not whether you would like to minimize your expenses.

The above statement is intended for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

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