If you are convicted of or you plead to petty theft it will appear on your record and possibly jeopardize your future as an EMT. Hire an attorney who is familiar with the court where your case is being handled. Normally I would tell you to go speak to a few attorneys, but since court is tomorrow you really don't have any time. You could ask for a continuance tomorrow to ask for time to seek advice from an attorney, then you should go meet with a few and hire the one you like best. If you cannot afford an attorney request a public defender tomorrow instead of a continuance. Good luck and next time don't wait until the night before your court date to seek advice.
Michel & Associates, PC
All my comments here are intended for general legal purposes. None of my comments here establish an attorney-client relationship with anyone. None of my comments should be relied on in taking legal action without first consulting an attorney.
Whether you are convicted or not, this incident will likely cause you problems when you apply to become an EMT. However, if you can beat the conviction, you will be in much better shape. You need a lawyer to work with you on this. Good luck to you.
It can certainly affect your background check. However, if you have a good attorney on your side, you can minimize the consequences. I have more questions for you regarding this "citizen's arrest". That might be an area we can look at more carefully as well.
You need an attorney to deal with DA in Ventura County. It is quite possible that a deal to a lesser charge or dismissal can be reached.