You will likely speak to the prosecutor who will ask you how you plea to the charges. Plea not guilty until first speaking to a criminal defense attorney in your area who can review your case and determine whether you can fight the charge at trial or advise you to plea guilty to a lesser charge. Good luck in court.
DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State where this charge is filed. I am an attorney licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey. Consult a local attorney if your case arises outside the State of New Jersey. If you found this answer to be HELPFUL then you can vote that this answer was helpful. If you found this answer to be the BEST ANSWER of all those presented, then you can vote that this answer was the best answer presented.
You want to get this matter dismissed or reduced to something other than a theft offense. You need an attorney to deal with City Attorney in Van Nuys- where I presume your matter is pending .
You should NOT plead guilty or NO CONTEST to any charge of THEFT. Petty theft is NOT petty, and can affect your life, for a long time, and can impact future jobs. As a Former Deputy District Attorney and as a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, my office has handled 100's of petty theft offenses, and we have seen the result of getting many charged dropped, in someone's life. You should contact a qualified attorney to speak about all the facts. I would be more than happy to talk with you about the facts of your case, and give you the advice you need. I wish you well....................David Wallin
Juvenile proceedings are very different from adult. If this was your first time in trouble, you may be contacted by the police or probation department so you can participate in some type of informal process to prevent a petition from being filed in juvenile court. It all depends on the practices of the local police on whether they have an informal diversion program, whether juvenile probation has an informal diversion program, what your past law enforcement contact has been, and how well you are doing in school. You may want to talk to a local attorney who is experienced in juvenile law.