I was caught shoplifting at Kmart. I have never done anything wrongful law-wise. The total was around $30. The cops were called. I am 20 years old. I was told I had to go to magistrate and pay fines. I am willing to do whatever I can to keep this off of my record. I'm beyond scared because I don't want a stupid one time mistake to affect my future.
I think it's in your best interest to contact an attorney regarding your case. Although this charge seems minor, another charge would be a misdemeanor and you would mostly likely receive probation if found guilty. A third charge would be a felony and you would likely face some jail time if found guilty.
I don't know all the details in your case, and please don't post them online. But just because you may think you are guilty does not mean you actually are. Even if, after talking with an attorney, it appears that you would not be able to win a summary trial, many jurisdiction have a diversionary program that may be applicable. This would allow you to keep it off your record without having to contest the charges in an actual trial.
Contact an attorney, at least for a free consultation.
My response to your question is a generic response and should not be construed as controlling to your case. I can not effectively advise about your case without knowing all the facts. Additionally, my response does not create an attorney-client relationship. You can contact my office to schedule an appointment if you would like to have me represent you.
If you're charged with a misdemeanor, I suggest you speak with an attorney. A conviction will stay on your record permanently and can affect you for life. In the event that you are charged with a misdemeanor and you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed. I suggest you take that option and let your attorney work to lessen the damage. He or she may be able to get your charge dismissed or reduced to a simple infraction. Best of luck.
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Usually, a first time offender benefits from a capable and competent legal assistance of the professional attorney. At that time, the retained legal counsel is able to examine the case facts for the most optimal resolution of the charge, for instance, a deferred prosecution, theft deterrent school or supervision (which is not a conviction) would be a desirous outcome in your case.
The only reasonable advice I may give you on Avvo, research and retain a good criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania who knows that jurisdiction, prosecution and local specifics to fully protect your prospective career and life choices from any potentially detrimental effects of this incident.
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It appears as if you are taking this very seriously, and that is a good soon. It is important that you know that there are collateral consequences that could harm your future. With what you have shared, it looks as if an experienced attorney may be able to get you into a diversionary program that will keep this off your record. I advise you to speak with an attorney in your area to determine your options. Best of luck.
Michael L. Doyle
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