I was caught shoplifting at an AT&T store for 2 items valued at $70. Not arrested but cops came to my home. Outcome?
2 attorney answers
Do not speak about these charges or the incident until a lawyer is on the case for you. Unless you beat the charges this can stay on your record and haunt you for job applications. Get a lawyer because if this is not handled well these charges can be a big hurdle for getting into a home mortgage, a college or finding a job. You have rights but you need to act to protect those rights.
Get a good lawyer so you can answer for your situation, but still be able to move on with life.
You might find my Legal Guide helpful "How to Choose A Lawyer For You"
You might find my Legal Guide helpful " What Do I Tell My Lawyer"
Too many variable exist to predict the penalty. Good luck to you. Get a lawyer to advise you.
NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an atttorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.
Obviously, the police are involved, so this will likely result in a criminal prosecution for petty theft.
My suggestion: Do not answer any questions. You've already said and done enough. I'd recommend contacting a criminal defense attorney in your area ASAP to discuss how to protect yourself and best position yourself for the upcoming prosecution.
Theft charges can have lasting consequences if you're convicted. Often, an attorney can do things that can avoid a conviction for you, but you'll never know if you don't look into it.
I know it's only $70 and you returned the merchandise, but you can still be prosecuted. Get a lawyer.