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Shoplifted, under arrest, got a ticket, and a fine. No court if I pay. Was I charged/convicted or is it just a ticket??

Eden Prairie, MN |

So I got caught shoplifting, and was put under arrest. Filled out some papers, got my picture taken, signed saying I can't enter store again, and that a fine will arrive in the mail. I was then issued a ticket from the officer. Does this mean I am convicted of a crime or charged with one, or is it just a ticket?? They said I don't have to go to court or jail if I pay the fine and ticket.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. It's hard to answer your question as posted. Where or to whom are you supposed to pay the "fine"?
    The "officer" was he/she actually a police officer or a store security person?

  2. It is impossible for any lawyer not licensed in Minnesota to answer this question - there are too many variables. Is "shoplifting" a crime or a violation, is agreeing to pay a fine and a "no trespass" order a CIVIL compromise? You need to talk to a lawyer there - call the local Bar Association and get a referral to a local criminal defense lawyer. Better safe than sorry!!!

  3. Right now you are charged, not convicted. If you pay the fine to avoid court, you will be convicted (the paying of the fine will be tendered as a guilty plea). Depending on your criminal history, or lack thereof, it may be in your best interest to go to court. There could be possible ways to resolve this case without a conviction ending up on your record. A criminal conviction can end up haunting you years down the road when applying for a job, trying to rent an apartment, etc....

    I hope you find this information helpful and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions about your situation. I wish you the best of luck.

  4. You are charged, not yet convicted. But you will be convicted if you pay this fine. You should try to avoid pleading guilty or being convicted. A diversion program or continuance for dismissal may be available to you. An attorney would be able to help you get that result.

    After you resolve this case, you should talk to an attorney about expunging the arrest record.

  5. You likely have a citation or charge for theft; you have not be convicted. If you pay the fine, payment is treated as a guilt plea, and then you will have a conviction. My advice is the same as other two MN attorneys call an criminal defense attorney.

    If you have more questions, please contact me for assistance. Good Luck!

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