Find a local attorney to negotiate a civil compromise which will keep your record clean. Good luck.
The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.
I am assuming you work in retail and the card was one for the store you work at, which is who HR is related to.
The worst case scenario is that you will be charged with petty theft (Penal Code section 484) and possibly, embezzlement (Penal Code section 503). The maximum you are looking at is a $1,000 fine, plus penalties and assessments and six months in county jail. They are misdemeanors.
What prosecutors often do is lower the fine and add community service. Do you have any prior criminal record? How old are you?
To keep the charges off your record - this may be very tough - I'd recommend you do an online shoplifting prevention course (Tom Wilson and National Association of Shoplifting Prevention have them) and show the police the certificates of completion. You may also want to give the police a check or money order for $300 made out to the victim. You can also write a short essay on why shoplifting is bad, but do not admit anything that you did is bad. Give that to the police, too. Such efforts would be seen as good - and unusual - and may win you a recommendation of pre-filing diversion, depending upon the DA. Good luck.
Whether or not a criminal case is filed is strictly up to prosecutors to decide. The person may notify the police, who can investigate and ultimately report their findings to prosecutors. Since anything you say can later be used against yu in court, you should refrain from saying anything more about this with anyone but a defense attorney. A defense attorney can speak on your behalf without the danger of it being later used against you. You should obtain a free consultation from a San Diego County defense attorney to learn more about what can be done on your behalf.
Law Office of Andrew Limberg, APLC 380 S. Melrose Dr., #329 Vista, CA 92081 (760) 806-4381
It seems like you are talking to anyone and everyone on earth about this EXCEPT for a quality, locally experienced criminal defense attorney. Stop admitting guilt to anyone who will listen and hire a good attorney ASAP!
Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555
The right thing to do is to hire a good local criminal defense attorney immediately. DO NOT write anything out admitting anything else in regards to taking the code, the card, or anything! DO NOT speak to the police or anyone else anymore without your attorney's involvement. Anything that you write out and give to anyone can and will be used against you in a court of law! Hire an attorney now. The money you pay a good criminal defense attorney now will be a mere pittance compared to the money that it will cost you in the long run later on if this matter gets out of hand.
I will be happy to speak with you at no cost by phone if you have a San Diego or California matter. Call 619-238-1905 or visit my website at www.lawofficeofwilliamdaley.com