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Petit theft 2nd degree 3 a, from walmart. First offense. What should I plead?

Casselberry, FL |

I was detained in walmart for petit theft in the second degree.
It is my first and last offense.
I have been so scared of losing my children and license over this and it going on my record which will wreck my future of a better job and financial stuation for my daughters. I read if you plead guilty you can have the diversion class and pay restitution to the victim. If I do plead guilty, will I go to jail? They didn't catch me through video but the noise of me opening a box. I was not read my rights when taken into the loss prevention room by the officer who gave me the notice to appear. Whhat are my options? I am electing to take the Florida safety council petty theft 8 hour course on my own, without any help. I can not afford a lawyer.. I am a single mother of 2 little girls. I need help!

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Attorney answers 4


Dear Detained,

Depending on the County and Judicial Circuit you are located in, you should be eligible for pre-trial intervention or diversion. Complete your course ASAP. When you go to your arraignment on the date of your Notice to Appear, ask for a Public Defender. At the worst you will most likely wind up with 6 months probation and a withhold of adjudication.

I did not see where you specify what license you are referringto- drivers or professional license. If it is a professional license you may be obligate to disclose your arrest.

If you are applying for a professional license, you may have to disclose these facts. At that point candor is he best policy... a coverup is always worse than the crime in your situation.

Going forward, use this as a teaching moment for yourself (and your kids I they know about it). And be grateful you have your family in your life.

Best Regards,

James Regan, Esq.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.


At the arraignment, you should bring a copy of completing the petty theft course with you, as it may help in getting you an offer for diversion, which is a state run program similar to probation, btu after it is completed, the charges against you are dismissed. I do not advise pleading guilty without talking to an attorney about your case.

Responses should not be relied upon for legal decision making. One should contact a lawyer and establish an attorney-client privilege to rely on legal advice. Any communication here is NOT considered attorney-client privilege and is not confidential.


Petit theft by itself sounds like a small crime but it can impact a person's future and your needs must be addressed legally as well as learning about how you will handle your charge into the future. For example, what will you tell a future employer should it come up? how will you handle it if someone you know confronts you etc..

You may be eligible for diversion as the other lawyer indicated but you should try your hardest to find a lawyer who can stand with you during this difficult time!

Please be advised that answering your questions does not establish an attorney-client relationship with myself or my firm. We would be more than happy to set up a free consultation if you call us at 407-228-3838 and specifically mention AVVO or email me at and put AVVO in the subject line.


I would speak with an attorney for free before you go to court. I would be happy to speak with you on the phone and advise you what to do.

For more information contact the Law Office of Corey Cohen at 407-246-0066 or visit our website at