The maximum possible penalty for misdemeanor shoplifting (under $500) in Missouri is 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000. If you are a first-time offender and you have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you, it is very unlikely that you will do jail time or end up with a conviction for shoplifting.
I highly recommend that you don't plead guilty to shoplifting. If you plead guilty, you will end up with a conviction for stealing on your permanent criminal record, and that conviction can not be expunged (removed). Having a conviction for stealing on your criminal record can prevent you from getting a job, renting an apartment, obtaining a loan, etc.
If you hire an attorney to represent you, your attorney may be able to get your shoplifting charge dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense, such as "Littering." You will pay a fine and court costs, but you might not have to appear in court. The fine can range anywhere from $150 to $600, depending on which court your case is being prosecuted in. Court costs in St. Louis area municipal courts range from $25 to $65.
Most criminal defense attorneys offer a free consultation and can give you an estimate of the outcome of your case and a flat-fee price quote for how much they will charge to represent you.
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Talk to a criminal defense attorney. The range of punishment has been provided, but a lawyer can likely mitigate any possible sentence if you are wanting to plea guilty.
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It depends on the court you are dealing with. However, a competent attorney can usually negotiate you a decent disposition on these types of charges with minimal consequences.
Maybe a theft class, some community service, maybe a few hundred dollars. Again it depends on a few factors. Make sure you hire an attorney that is familiar with your specific jurisdiction.
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