and stole a jacket and a pants
Petit theft is a misdemeanor if the valued amount is less than $300. Grand theft (a felony) thereafter. First time offenders are often eligible for diversion programs if they don't want to fight the case. After being responsible for conditions like classes and/or community service your case would get dismissed after a period of time. Sometimes, though, walking into a diversion program may not always be best especially when the case can be defended. These are issues that you should consider discussing with an attorney in greater detail even if you only do so during a consultation. Good luck!
If the State of Florida prosecutes you there are a number of possible penalties. If you have no criminal history, and you are a minor, you would likely be referred to a pre-trial diversion program where you will be required to take some classes, possibly perform some community service, etc. If you complete the program, your case will be dismissed. If you have been in trouble before, you may not be able to participate in a diversion program, but in most cases, minors are sentenced to probation rather than incarceration. That is not to say you couldn't be incarcerated or placed into one of the juvenile programs run the State. You should consult a criminal defense attorney right away. If you can't afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you.
I suggest that you consult with a criminal defense attorney so you can give him more information and will be better able to answer your questions.
If this is your first offense then it is almost certain that you will be eligible for a diversionary program (adult or juvenile, the end is basically the same).
Diversion is a program which is designed to make you think twice about future criminality by way of making you jump through a series of proverbial hoops during a period of supervision, successful completion of which results in a dismissal. The program is owned and operated by the State Attorney's Office and they have absolute and unequivocal discretion as to whether to admit you, keep you or "graduate" you from their program.
Knowing that, the question now is whether or not diversion is right for you. There may or may not be viable defenses to the charges, affirmative or otherwise, or there may be factual, legal, procedural or substantive mechanisms by which to attack and beat the charges without going through diversion.
The best way for you to get competent advise is going to be to have a face-to-face meeting with a criminal defense lawyer who can follow-up on your information with questions of her/his own, as well as review the police reports and citations and then offer an informed opinion.
Please take a look at my Avvo Legal Guide on diversion in Florida. It contains a great deal of information on the subject and should be helpful to you. For your convenience a link follows:
Please see: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/pre-trial-intervention--diversion-what-is-it-and-is-it-right-for-me
As an aside, you may also receive a letter in the mail from the retailer demanding that you pay them money as a civil penalty. If this happens then you should know that in order for them to get the civil penalty they have to be able to prove (by clear and convincing evidence) that they were injured by your theft. The statute authorizing the civil demand (see F.S. 772.11 - a link appears below ) permits a retailer to seek a minimum of $200 in damages, but to do so they have to first file a civil lawsuit, which will cost them hundreds of dollars just to file, and then many more to prosecute. Their demand letter to you is essentially an offer to settle a potential civil lawsuit for $200.00, a lawsuit which has not yet, and which may never be, filed.
That said, whether or not you pay them is both a personal and a civil, and NOT a criminal defense related, question.
Please see: FS 772.11 - Civil Theft / http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/772.11
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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