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Advice for petty theft misdemeanor, alachua county, fl. 23 yr old.

Gainesville, FL |

I shoplifted from walmart, I have no criminal record at all, not even a parking ticket, am insanely stressed out. I have paid my civil demand letter, I have my court date in less than eight days and have no clue what to do. It was a stupid mistake that is making me feel so ashamed, I just threw away 23 years for nothing. I just want some advice as to what I should be doing. I haven't told my parents, the only people who know are my partner and my best friend. I am currently working at the VA in one of their offices through a contract with a temp agency. I also have a background check going through in the next couple days. I would just like some advice, as well as what I should expect my future to look like.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

If this is our first offense, you may very well be eligible for a first time offender program. This is a diversionary program that is run by the state attorney. At the arraignment or court hearing that you have coming up, ask about a diversion program. If they are offering the program, take it. Ultimately if you accept the program and you successfully comply with all of the conditions your case will be dropped. At that point you can apply to have your record expunged.

Call or email me if you have any questions.



If this is your first charge, they will most likely offer you a pre-trial diversion program. If you finish the program, they will dismiss the charge. You may then apply to have your record "expunged."


I agree with Mr. Hillard. As a 1st time offender, you should readily qualify for diversion. Diversion will allow you to earn a dismissal of the charges, which will then make you eligible to expunge (delete) the case from your record. I recommend you retain counsel to assist you with securing diversion and once diversion is completed, to assist you with having the record of this case expunged from your record.

Posting an answer to your question does not create an attorney / client relationship such that you can or should rely on the information provided herein to take action. Instead, it is intended to simply provide you with information. I am not your lawyer and cannot provide you with legal advice unless and until I am hired to do so.



Just a question about seeking counsel, being that I am not in a position to afford counsel at this time what would be my options? Also, if at some point maybe after I get through this case, can I then elect to hire some legal help with getting my record expunged and what does that mean exactly, I've seen different explanations for this term, if you wouldnt mind extrapolating. And thank you so much.


As an Alachua County Defense Attorney, yes, you are facing a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The prosecutor will likely offer you a contract that will require you to either complete a certain number of community service hours through county probation or you can pay a donation to an organization they have picked. You will also have to pay a $50 cost of prosecution and you may be required to take an anti-theft course. At the end of your agreement, your case will be dismissed and you will be eligible to expunge your record. If this does not happen, please contact me to assist you in getting this agreement. Do not do anything in court if you are not sure. I can offer full representation or limited representation to review your agreement. I can also offer you assistance in expunging your record once your case has been dismissed.

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