I am 17 years old. Allegedly I was caught stealing at a store for items under $44. When they searched me they found no stolen items and when the police officer came and searched me they found nothing. The code on the ticket(?) that the officer gave me was 484 a Pc Theft and misdemeanor was circled on it.
Will I have to go to court?
Will this be on my permanent record
Will you have to go to court? Yes, if the ticket tells you a date and you promised to appear on that date, or the court otherwise notifies you of when to appear. It may be on your permanent record if a case is filed against you, however, as a juvenile, you may get the adjudication sealed and destroyed.
The citation you signed is a promise to appear, so you must go to court on that date. However, if there is insufficient evidence of a theft, they may not file a case. I'd contact an attorney to help you with this, as it may be defensible, and you don't want to plead if it can be dismissed.
Unless you are contacted by the Probation Office for informal handling, you must appear with a parent on the date listed on your ticket. Did they cite you to a Juvenile Court or to one of the Juvenile Referees?
Since you are a juvenile, you should be able to get this case dismissed pursuant to WIC 654, Diversion. You should also ask that your record be sealed.
Take this as a warning though; this is your last few months of being considered a juvenile. In adult court, you may end up with a record and no job opportunities.
The court will appoint the Public Defender if you can't afford to hire a private attorney.
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