Hire a lawyer!!! You may be able to make arrangements go to court early, hopefully get in pretrial diversion, and avoid a conviction.
This case IS the most important thing in your life right now because you do not want to get a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude!! And, you want to have the best chance of settling the matter in a manner that allows it to be expunged from your record. Theft cases can haunt you for life.
You'll have to hire a defense attorney. It typically takes awhile (as in possibly a few months) for a case to get filed and receive a First Setting with the court. The attorney may be able to get your appearance waived with proof that you are in school out of state. A local attorney will be able to discuss all the available options and likely outcomes in your jurisdiction.
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I agree with Ms. Henley and Ms. Jaggers.
Put more bluntly, you made a mistake. You need to now get your priorities in order. Get a good criminal defense lawyer working on this ASAP.
Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.
Yes, this can be arranged. A person can have their presence at court waived with the proper request filed by an attorney. Please also remember that you do not want to plea to a theft charge, because of the serious consequences of a theft conviction.
Please remember that this response was made generally to a general question posted on a web site. The advice was provided free of charge and is intended to provide guidance and encouragement for you to seek a practitioner in your local area. If you needed this assistance, that should show that the area of law you are researching is deep subject and open to possible multiple interpretations. Please go talk to a local attorney.