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Can I go to jail for shoplifting?

Copperas Cove, TX |

I went to Walmart and tried to steal a ten dollar hat,they sent me to the back asked for my information and a cop came they then notified my parents(I'm younger than 18),they then told me I have to appear to court and told me the judge im getting is brutal.They told me it was a Class C Misdemeanor.And also my parents dont want to pay the fine,what can I do?

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Attorney answers 5


I doubt you will go to jail. !st offenders with misdemeanors usually qulify for diversion programs. Contact a lawyer in your jurisdiction and see if they have them available to you.


If you are over the age of 17 years, then you are an adult. It will be up to you to make sure the fine is paid. If this is a first offense, hopefully you will be able to secure an option that does not leave you a conviction. But, it would probably involve a probationary period of time, and fines/court costs, etc. Good Luck

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Class C Theft is punishable by a fine of up to $500, but no jail time. Pleading guilty to theft can have far-reaching consequences that could negatively impact the rest of your life. I do not mean to scare you, but it is critical that you, and your parents, understand the stakes when it comes to theft. It is a crime of moral turpitude, which is a special class of crimes. If you just walk in and plead guilty to theft, it will affect your ability to get certain jobs, to qualify for certain types of licenses, and it may affect your ability to testify credibly as a witness.

Although it is "just a ticket," it is a ticket that could change the course of your future. Please sit down and talk to your parents. Do some research, and find an attorney who will give you a free consultation so that you and your parents can get the information that you need to make a good decision. I doubt that you will find an attorney who will tell you how to handle your case for free, but you might find an attorney who will help your parents understand why you need their help, support, and guidance right now. It is understandable for them to be upset with you, but you really shouldn't handle this on your own.

Katherine Shipman's response to your question is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this response should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Bart Charles Craytor

Bart Charles Craytor


Great answer Ms. Shipman!


Get a local criminal defense attorney experienced with theft cases. You will probably be able to get "deferred adjudication" which is basically a probationary period of time where you must stay out of trouble. When that is over, get an attorney experienced with "expungements." You can get this whole thing expunged (erased) then.

BEST ANSWER I got....and I hope I was HELPFUL! My answers do not establish an attorney/client relationship. Contact Steve Hamer at (214) 843-1529 for a FREE CONSULTATION.


If you clarify how much under eighteen you are, attorneys would be able to give you better answers . Juvenile and adult cases work very differently and the advice would be pretty different.

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