Get an attorney.they are prosecuting you to make a point. You need someone who can see if diversion will work. Doing this alone will cost you more tan ever paying an attorney.
This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.
Retailers tend to be rather punitive toward shoplifters, but even more so with internal theft. I agree that you should consult with an attorney immediately because if you retain a private attorney, unlike a public defender, he or she may be able to prevent the charges from being filed, or, filed as an infraction. Do not post any more facts about this on this website because it is not private. If you absolutely cannot afford a private attorney after consulting with your family, the public defender can represent you at the first hearing. good luck.
If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer the court will appoint the public defender at your arraignment. If you can find the funds to hire an attorney that is better because a private attorney can contact the D.A. before a complaint is filed with the court. If the D.A. files a complaint the best options are diversion, which results in a dismissal after a year with no conviction on your record if you do not get arrested, pay a fine, attend a class, and do some community service; or if diversion is not available, to reduce the misdemeanor to an infraction, which would mean there is no jail or probation. Of course, you also have the right to fight the case to trial if you wish.