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What are the consequences for a petty theft charge in Ohio for someone with a clean record?

Cleveland, OH |

Three of my friends were charged with petty theft by association with the person that was actually stealing. They have a court date coming up next week and wanted to know what to expect when going there. None of them have anything on their record and they are all 18. However one of them had something from when they were 16. Would this affect that one in any way?

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Posted

Maybe. The prior juvenile record shouldn't be a factor, but I've seen some prosecutors try to argue the juvenile record at adult sentencing. The better question though, is what will happen to your two other friends with completely clean records. Theft is one of those charges where what happens to the person in court isn't as bad as what will happen out-of-court. A theft conviction will have major implications on getting a job, applying to college, or in professional licensure. A lawyer can try to negotiate a dismissal, or a plea to a non-theft offense.

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Posted

So what ate the chances that any of them will go to jail?

Posted

They could be facing up to 6 months in jail, although that is highly unlikely as first time offenders. They should seek legal counsel to try and prevent theft convictions on their records. As the other attorney stated, a theft conviction has many out of court consequences for the future. Good luck to your friends.

~~~~~~~~~~ Patrick Leary is a licensed attorney in Ohio. Any answers provided by Mr. Leary in the Q&A Forum are intended to be informative, but should NOT be considered legal advice. Furthermore, answers provided herein do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Thank you. www.defendmyfreedom.com

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