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Do I need to get an Attorney for a petty theft on campus?

Amherst, MA |

I stole two gym bags from my campus's recreation center. I honestly can't say exactly why I did it- I just wanted to try it. I've never done any crime like this before, and have a clean record. I didn't use any of the stuff I found, and threw alot of it out. (I only kept a sweatshirt, sweatpants, a keychain, and a wallet). Yesterday my room got searched by police through a warrant and they found some of the stuff in my trash, and what they didn't find I gave back. I was completely honest and cooperative with them. I honestly didn't steal it for the materials, didn't use any of the credit/gift cards, was truthful, and cooperative. They left without taking a phone number or any contact information. My questions: Will I be charged? Do I need to get an attorney? Do you have any overall tips?

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Attorney answers 6


First do not post any more details online. Second, yes you need to retain an attorney. You have just admitted to a crime and possibly a felony level crime. This is very serious and you should be proactive. If they took the time to search your room them I would imagine you are going to be charged.

David Newton, Esq.

This is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with my colleague's answer and would just like to add that any statements you made while you thought you were being cooperative can be used against you when any charges are brought against you. You should consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to, as Attorney Newton stated, get ahead of this and determine your best course of action in light of your public statements in this forum as well as those made to police. Best of luck.

Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.


Yes, you absolutely need an attorney. You may need representation both in district court for criminal charges, and in front of your school disciplinary board.

I suggest you stop sharing details online on a public forum that is accessible to everyone. Instead, consult with an attorney in private and confidence.

You say "my room got searched by police through a warrant". What Police Department was this? Campus police or local police? Did you see the warrant? If there was a warrant to search your room you will most likely be charged with the crime. Likely the crime of Larceny. Your first option to to fight the warrant's validity on its face.

You say "...was truthful and cooperative." The police are not your friends if they are investigating you. It would have been in your best interest to keep quiet and ask for an attorney. Going forward I suggest you do not discuss anything related to this, except for with an attorney. Again, whatever you may have said may be able to be suppressed if you get charged, depending on the circumstances.

Here my tip: contact an attorney ASAP and go in for a consultation.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Ilir Kavaja, Esq.
(617) 515-5545

The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.


If no jail sentence is envisioned, you get no attorney

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If you were not arrested, then you are likely going to receive a summons in the mail. Please revise your explanation above, and delete the details. Your admission on this website gives good detail that could be used to identify you. There are attorneys who help college kids a lot, and you would do well to engage one of us to assist you, since you may need help preparing for any disciplinary process. Search google and read about your rights and the criminal process so you know what to expect.

Don't worry about hiring an attorney until you find out your charges. Just do not talk with anyone about what happened: not your friends and not your family, as by doing so, you are making them witnesses against you.

Again, delete the details in your question now.

Good luck.

Providing users with information is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. However, if in reading my response, you are interested in retaining me to represent you, please do not hesitate to contact me.


You will likely be charged with Larceny over $250 which is a felony. Your lawyer can possibly challenge the legality of the search and/or the issuance of the warrant. If that fails, your lawyer should be able to obtain a disposition by which you admit to the crime but do not receive a guilty finding that leads to a dismissal after probation.
Ira J. Kaplan, Esq. 413-528-1211

My response does not create an attorney-client relationship nor should it be relied on as advice in this particular case. My response is provided for discussion purposes only. 413-528-1211.

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