A few months ago a few friends and I were caught walking out of jc penny with a few shirts. I was 18 at the time. This is my first offense. Unfortunately due to my ignorance, I didn't know I had court and thought I only had to pay fines for jc penny's lawyers. I already paid close to 700$ to quash my outstanding warrant. Now in 3 weeks I must face the judge with charges of petit larceny and failure to appear. How can I make the punishment as less severe as possible? Is there any chance of still not having this be put on my permanent record? Can I make a plea bargain or is it just too obvious that I was indeed stealing the shirts? Help! Thank you
This answer is based upon the limited information provided in your question. You should therefore consult with an attorney who you will be able to provide all of the facts relevant to the case. If a bench warrant has been issued by the Judge for your failure to appear, your first step in what is known as quashing the warrant. A motion must be filed to place your case on calendar for purposes of quashing the warrant and setting the case for a pretrial conference or trial. If you have made restitution to the attorneys for Penny's under the civil statute dealing with shoplifting this may be relevant and helpful to your case if it is presented favorably to the prosecutor. An attorney can help you in resolving the case favorably even if you committed the crime.
If the city is seeking jail time you will be appointed an attorney. If the city is not seeking jail time you will have to hire your own attorney.
The information shared in this e-mail does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and you should consult with a local attorney in your city where you can share confidential matters and receive a full evaluation of your legal situation.