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Hello everyone, I'm 22 yrs old with a college education and clean record;today I was charge with petit larceny. I feel terrible

Binghamton, NY |

I live in upstate New York and the items I stole were under the value of 50 dollars. This is my first offense and I cooperated with the police in every way possible. She knew I wasn’t a bad person and just made a mistake, and I feel terrible. I was not arrested but I have a court appearance. I can’t afford to get this on my record because I am job searching.

I am unsure of NY state law but is there a way for me not to get convicted without a lawyer? I really can’t afford one. This was a terrible choice and I feel nothing but regret but of course, I can only blame myself. I plan to plead guilty and hope for a dismissal after six months but I dont know how things will end...

Any advice would be appreciated.


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Attorney answers 4


You need a lawyer. If you are indigent the court will assign you a public defender.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.



I'm sure a lawyer is the right solution but I was wondering if I could do this on my own. Admit my mistakes to the judge and perhaps get an ACD.


Having a lawyer will help you. If you qualify, then court may assign you a free lawyer. If you do not qualify, then hire one.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


There should be no reason to have a record based on this one transgression. Make sure you appear in court on the date your received. If you do not have an attorney, the court will most likely appoint one for you. It is possible that you may receive an offer of an ACOD with community service. ACOD stands for adjournment in contemplation of dismissal and it means the case would be dismissed and sealed within six months of it being granted. Good luck.

I have been a criminal attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Phone #: 718-208-6094 email: This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


If you plead guilty, why would the case be dismissed? If you plead you will be convicted. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can be assigned a public defender. Good Luck.

Waynice Green Colby & Associates, LLC 73 Church Street New Brunswick, NJ 08901 732-609-3915 This does not constitute legal advice and is given for informational purposes only. Before providing legal advice I would need to evaluate your situation more fully and research any additionally applicable law. If you would like to discuss your situation, please give my office a call to set up a free initial consultation.