Hire a lawyer, if for nothing else, then peace of mind. The worst that can happen is a criminal conviction for a class A misdemeanor and one year in jail, but come to court with an experienced criminal defense lawyer and you should be able to work out a deal that keeps your record clean and avoids jail.
I have handled thousands of shoplifting cases in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the NYC area for 30 years. A good lawyer will get the case dismissed with an ACD dismissal and you will not pay a fine or have a criminal record. You mat have to do shoplifting school for a 4 hour class or community service. You are not a criminal you just made a mistake and it will not be expensive as it is just one appearance.
John Carney Esq 917 696 2363
I handle these all the time. I am former federal and State prosecutor. You are not going to jail and will not have a record. Hire a good criminal defense lawyer.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.