Me and my friend stole a dress & 3 shirts & some jewelry in kohls on friday , it was all worth around 280 dollars. We are both under 18 , im 15 and my friend is 16. The lady asked me if i knew why i was being brought into the back room and we both said no 2 times, because we were both so scared , the police came and then kohls said they were pressing charges. We are going on a vacation for the whole summer in 10 days, so can we change our court date for it to be in after we come back ? Whats gonna happen in court? can we avoide going to court if we pay a fine? how much will the fine be? Will it prevent us from getting a job at this age? Is there any way it wont go on our record? What should we do get out of this in the best way?
Family Law Attorney
You and your friend should both see if you qualify for representation by the New Hampshire Public Defender or should schedule a time to meet with a criminal attorney for a consultation. There are many nuances and parts to your questions that cannot be completely answered online, as specific consequences will depend upon your age, criminal records (or lack thereof), prosecutor, and charges brought.
Generally, however, if you are charged as juvenile's your cases proceed very fast through the criminal justice system. Your cases are private, meaning that the general public cannot know what happens with your cases. If you do not have criminal records and the prosecutor agrees, you may qualify for some form of a diversion program in which you do not end up with a conviction on your record provided you complete community service, complete a shoplifting specific course, and complete any other requirements set by the Court (which can also include payment of a fine). You can also be sentenced to probation, counseling, payment of a fine, community service, and incarceration (in severe cases).
I provide representation to juveniles and you may feel free to contact my office through my website. You may also contact the New Hampshire Bar Association for referrals. Good luck!
Criminal Defense Attorney
You should hire an attorney to defend you in court. S/he would be able to evaluate the strenghts and weaknesses of the prosecution's case and determine what defenses may be available to you. S/he may also be able to negotiate the best possible disposition for you. After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances, s/he would be in the best position to advise and guide you. I would add that you may receive a letter from an attorney or collection agency demanding that you pay them money. Discuss it with your attorney but I generally advise clients to ignore these civil demand letters. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you, (in some jurisdictions prove damages which they most likely couldn't do), and win. Even if they could win, the cost of pursuing this is substantially greater than any amount they can possibly recover so they usually don't. They send out these letters because it doesn't cost much and they are hoping that you don't know better and simply send them the money. Nothing will happen to you if you don't pay it and it will have no affect on the crimi al case. Good luck.
Family Law Attorney
You should avoid using names on a forum like this. There is no expectation of privacy, and the prosecutor could easily see the statements you made. If you can edit this post to omit the name of the store, I would do so.
That being said, you should consult an attorney. Many will offer a free consultation. You can call my office at 603-223-6613.
Best of luck.
Chris Buck, Esq.
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