You need to hire an attorney to make sure that this charge is eligible for sealing / expunction. Don't enter a plea without an attorney reviewing the case discovery and making sure that the state's offer will not prevent you from keeping this off of your record.
Attorney David P. Gilbert | www.Drivenlegal.com | Tampa Bay Traffic Defense This is intended for informational purposes only, not legal advice.
HIRE A LAWYER! ASAP
You are putting your future on the line with this and you need to make sure you get the best representation possible so you don't have a criminal record for the rest of your life.
Legal disclaimer: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice nor does it constitute an attorney-client relationship. Thank You
You do not want to go to court without consulting with a lawyer first. You need to make sure you are able to explore all defenses and make sure you can protect your record for the future. You may set up an appointment with me to discuss these issues if you wish.
You should definitely retain an attorney to handle this matter for you. THe fact that you do not have any priors is favorable to your case. However, multiple petit theft convictions could lead to the same conduct being charged as a felony.
As for the govenment job part of your question it will depend, you have to remember, some govenment agencies can still access a prior arrest even though it has been sealed or expunged. Thus it will depend on the type of government job u seek. Now is the time to consult with local attorney experienced in criminal defense.
You could be eligible for a diversion if you have no priors. Diversion is at the discretion of the state attorney's office but is a possibility on a first time theft charge. If successfully completed the case would be dropped. If the case is dropped you would be eligible to have your record expunged as long as you have not been convicted of a crime or have not previously had your record sealed or expunged. An arrest will go on a NCIC/FCIC but if you have no priors and your case is dismissed or adjudication is withheld you would be eligible for sealing or expunging your record. If you are adjudicated guilty the charge would remain on your record. As to the government job that would depend on the job. It is possible to get a good result handling the case by yourself but it is much safer to have an attorney represent you. An attorney can insure that your rights are protected and can minimize or eliminate the time you spend in court. If you have not retained an attorney I would be happy to speak with you about your case. If you have retained an attorney they would be in the best position to advise you.