Theft under $500 is a misdemeanor offense and carries a maximum jail sentence of 11 months and 29 days. Whether you spend any time in jail depends on several factors, such as your prior criminal history. Generally, a person charged with a misdemeanor offense with little or no criminal history may be able to get probation. If you do not have any prior offenses you may also qualify for judicial diversion. Judicial diversion would allow the charge to be dismissed after a probationary period if you paid your fines, court costs, restitution, and are not charged with any new offenses.
It is important that you speak to an attorney in your area. You can benefit from an attorney's advice in these situations, and they will be able to get you the best result.
Communication with an attorney or staff member does not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute the provision or receipt of legal advice. Any communication from this office should be considered informational only, and should not be relied or acted upon until a formal attorney-client relationship is established via a signed written agreement.
Yes, you are required to have an attorney in a criminal matter. Every criminal offense carries a maximum punishment which can mean going to jail. The type of punishment you receive will be based on the offense class and your record.