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Stupid first time petty theft at Publix Stores.

Roswell, GA |

A week and a half ago I decided for some reason (friends and family keep asking me why I did it, and really I don't know the answer to that question) to acquire a pack of batteries totaling $8.99 with no intention to pay for them.

I was told I have a 5 year ban from the store, and am lucky I wasn't arrested right there as is their usual policy evidently. I have to appear in court in 30 days.

I'm 27, and old enough to obviously know better. I've never had anything on my record before. This is my first stupid move and of course I am paying for it now.

Will this stay on my record? Is there a way to avoid attending the hearing and just pay a fine? I really don't want to be banned from Publix and am hoping there is a way to lift that ban if possible.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

If you just go in and plead guilty, then yes it will be on your record permanently. Lucky for you, you do not have to do that. Talk to a local attorney to see if the court where you are charged has a diversion program. Diversion is set up to have you do a variety of things that are designed to help you not make that dumb decision again and, if you do them, the case will be dismissed.

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Posted

I have an old colleague from a firm I used to work at, but have been a bit embarrassed to consult this matter with him. I appreciate the quick reply. I suppose I am going to have to suck it up and let him know what the situation is.

Posted

You need to hire an attorney to inquire about a pre trial diversion program that could keep the charge off your record. Because you were not arrested, you are in a good position to keep your record clean. Do not just plead guilty just to get it over with because it will be on your record permanently. The ban from Publix may be negotiated but is usually a component in some form or another.

DISCLAIMER: This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationsip has been, or will be, created until a valid engagement agreement is signed. No duty arises from this posting. Answers posted here are general and made with limited knowledge of the actual facts of your case. Always speak with an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction if you wish legal advice specific to your case.

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Posted

Thanks you James. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Posted

Paying the fine is the same as pleading guilty and will result in a permanent criminal record.
Hiring a lawyer should be your next step.

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