Retail theft- 1st Offense- Michigan Benefit of being represented and not?

Asked over 1 year ago - East Lansing, MI

I was caught taking food items up to $118 and admitted to the wrong doing in the store. I'm being told that without representation and pleading guilty there is a highly possibilty of being serving a diversion program and that will expunge the offense from my record. Can you confirm if this is correct?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Edwar Zeineh

    Pro

    Contributor Level 5

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, I also disagree. It looks as if you are asking this question from Ingham County. If that is the case, then you must understand the differences between the Prosecutors Diversion Program and a Statutory based diversion program. Further, the only type of Diversion program you could possible get in Ingham County (other than the Prosecutors' Diversion Program) is under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA). You must first meet the qualification of HYTA which has an age limitation. You cant assume that going in and pleaing guilty will result in any form of diversion. Having an attorney, retained or appointed, will assist you in guaranteeing that you will end up without a record and/or having the case transfered to the prosecutors diversion program. Seek an attorney.

    I am licensed in the State of Michigan only. I am authorized to practice in the Federal Court for the Western... more
  2. David Seth Rodlund

    Contributor Level 9

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It's always best to have an attorney even if you take deal like this who can step you through how it works and make sure you are getting the correct information. It's your life so I guess you make the decision, but if I was in court I would want an attorney by my side. I wouldn't trust what a prosecutor is telling me without a second opinion from someone that is knowledgeable about the details of the offer you are being made. Don't ever plead guilty flat out even to something as simple as this. Think about the other areas of your life it could end up effecting. As in the rest of life, it is not as easy as the prosecutor is making it sound.

  3. Timothy J. Klisz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . That is not true. Straight up guilty plea will result in a criminal record for theft. Don't rely on any advice from anyone who is not an attorney. If you cannot afford one, use the public defender, who you still have to repay, just less.

    My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will... more
  4. Loren M. Dickstein

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You are getting horrible advice. The best chance you have of keeping this offense of your record is with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Self-representation is foolish and virtually always results in an unfavorable outcome. If you are not a lawyer you cannot possibly know the court rules, rules of evidence, applicable statutes, and much more. Even a lawyer charged with a crime will always hire an attorney to represent him or her.

    A conviction for retail fraud, even a misdemeanor, can result in terrible consequences for your future including loss or inability to obtain employment, inability to obtain professional licensing, loss of public benefits, immigration consequences and much more.

    I encourage you to use www.avvo.com to find a 10.0 rated criminal defense lawyer. Most retained criminal defense attorneys will offer you a free telephone consultation. Feel free to consult with an attorney in any part of Michigan as it is not uncommon for criminal defense lawyers to travel throughout the state.

    Mr. Loren Dickstein, Esq.
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    Click on the picture to see the profile of the lawyer answering your question. The information provided on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

  5. Jeffrey Scott Kemm

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Either hire an attorney or request a court appointed attorney; only an attorney can assist you through this process.

    Jeffrey S. Kemm is licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and the State of Missouri. This answer does... more

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