Yesterday, me and two other "friends" of mine were caught shoplifting at Sears in Manchester CT. I had one shirt and the other to had a total of 8 things combined. The Sears security took us to a room in the store and searched our bags. We are all under the age of 18 (16 ,15, 14). We were also all arrested, but without handcuffs and finger prints. The other two girls got referrals and were released into their parents custody. I was as well but I got a paper saying that I need to go to court. Why am I the only one going to court? The officer said it was because I didn't live in Manchester and the others did. Im still confused by this. Will this be on me professional record? Will my school find out? Can I get charges dropped through a diversion program. What do I do?
Criminal Defense Attorney
This will likely be a lower level larceny (5th or 6th). Juvenile records and dockets are sealed. There are a few ways to handle juvenile cases and you should speak to a CT juvenile lawyer. I would be happy to answer some questions if you drop me an e-mail. Also check out my website.
What should you do? Get a criminal defense lawyer immediately and don't again go online and admit to crimes in writing (this is a public, open forum).
NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Because of your age your case will be heard in juvenile court. If you were charged with Larceny in the 6th or 5th degree you can rest assured that your file will remain sealed regardless of the disposition. You should, however, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney about this matter. In fact, you will be informed at arraignment (your first court date) that you will need to return to court on a later date with either private counsel or apply for the services of a public defender. You can also expect a letter from an agency claiming to be writing you on behalf of Sears demanding payment of a "civil penalty". When you receive this letter, ignore it and all the other ones that will follow. Eventually, they will stop bothering you as the cost of retaining counsel and bringing a small claims action against you would prove economically unfeasible.
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