Skip to main content

Should I plead guilty or not guilty to a shoplifting charge?

Charlotte, NC |

I took nearly 300 dollars worth of merchandise from kohls. I'm 20 years old and it was my first offense other than one speeding ticket. I have never been in any sort of trouble before. The security guy stopped me at the door and I did everything he asked of me and I was polite. He even said that he would tell them I cooperated and I didn't cause any trouble. So should I plead guilty or not guilty?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Posted

Such an important decision cannot possibly be made on this forum and any advice you do receive is quite limited based upon the lack of information. You need to have a sit down with your attorney to discuss the evidence against you, the possible sentence you face, and any collateral consequences that may occur as a result of the plea. Only then can you really make such a decision.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Obviously, an Illinois lawyer has no clue about North Carolina law, so you should disregard this information.

Asker

Posted

Yes, only a NC lawyer can tell you that you should talk to your attorney before entering a plea.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Right, because getting points on Avvo is so important that you should be commenting on every post available, saying that they should "Talk to a Lawyer"

Posted

If you were arresstted and charged with a crime (and it seems like you were) the best thing fornyoumto do is speak with a lawyer in person. There are many issues here that can have long lasting consequences. While you may not go to jail (though it is a possibility) you may have a criminal record of you plead guilty. An attorney might be able to resolve the matter an avoid that. I should also point out that you may receive a civil demand letter from a law firm representing Kohls. I generally advise my clients to disregard the letter and it will not have any bearing on your criminal case. Kohl's is hoping that you dontnk ow better and will simply send them money. Speak to an attorney ASAP and before you say or do anything.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Obviously it's not appropriate for a Brooklyn, NY lawyer to speak about NC cases.

Benjamin J Lieberman

Benjamin J Lieberman

Posted

It would be obvious if I said something specific to NC law. Have I said anything inaccurate? If not there's no reason for you to be offensive.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Here's what's offensive. Viewing Avvo as a game, wherein you score points.

Asker

Posted

Concur

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Thank you. My view is that people come here with real problems. I try to confine my comments to areas I know (criminal law) in jurisdictions where I'm licensed to practice (NC). I find the random posting about "you need to get a lawyer" outside of either practice areas or jurisdictions to detract from the general usefulness of Avvo. I find Avvo to be the best of these sorts of sites, and would prefer people not abuse the "point system".

Benjamin J Lieberman

Benjamin J Lieberman

Posted

I cannot say that I disagree with you. I will note that you elected not to contribute an answer at all (probably because there were no "points"available to you and that I contributed something more than just "speak to a lawyer." you probably just posted the comment so the you can get points otherwise tell me what I've said that's inaccurate seeing as you only wash to be helpful.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Mr. Blum, who accurately described a specific program available in NC (maybe also NY and NJ where you practice) said what needed to be said. I don't "only wish to be helpful." Obviously I comment here for the same reasons you do. But you won't find me commenting on NY and NJ law because I have no idea what programs are available there.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Incidentally, when I comment on Federal criminal law, I comment across jurisdictions because it's Federal. I just find the comments about NC law by someone who practices in NY and NJ to be... inappropriate.

Benjamin J Lieberman

Benjamin J Lieberman

Posted

Co sider for a moment that my answer was posted before Mr. Blum's or that I didn't see his answer when I commented. It is because I am not familiar with the specific NC programs that I didn't mention them and indicated that a lawyer should be consulted. My answer, of which I am familiar, was more so concerning the civil demand letters that mercantile establishments are he'll bend on sending out.

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Look. We just disagree about what it means to post appropriately here. You think you should comment outside your jurisdiction. I don't. That's fine. Avvo doesn't preclude you from posting about NC law, or Nebraska law, or whatever you'd like. Carry on.

Benjamin J Lieberman

Benjamin J Lieberman

Posted

I'm sorry thatbive offended you

Damon John Chetson

Damon John Chetson

Posted

Avvo also doesn't require you to spell check. But that doesn't prevent you from posting what you posted.

Benjamin J Lieberman

Benjamin J Lieberman

Posted

It's because they don't require it, and unfortunately iPad doesn't correct all typos just yet (I think it senses when I'm posting outside my jurisdiction).

Posted

You should hire a lawyer as soon as possible. There is an excellent chance that you can get into a first offender's diversion program. You will probably be required to sign a confession. Then the case will be continued for 6 months or so. In the interim, you will be required to do a significant amount of community service. You may also be required to pay a fee for the opportunity. If you complete the requirements of the diversion deal, then the charge against you would be dismissed.

Getting an agreement like this from the prosecution is by no means a guarantee. It will be much easier with the assistance of an experienced, local lawyer. I urge you to get some help. Don't try to do this on your own.

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer