Ok...stupid decision does not make you stupid. You made a mistake and now you have to deal with it.
A first offense shoplift does not usually lead to a criminal record. There will likely be a plea offer to a lesser charge that will lead to avoiding a permanent criminal record. Ask the judge to appoint an attorney for you.
Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
Shoplifting is a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor it will give you a criminal record. However, for a first offense, you should be offered something that won't give you a record. If you are indigent, the court will assign you a lawyer.
Hire a criminal defense lawyer. If you are indigent the court will appoint a public defender. There is a lot that can be done to save you.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
I have handled these cases for 30 years and often you can get an ACD dismissal or Disorderly Conduct with an experienced attorney. I would try to get your parents or friend to lend you the money for the fee as you do not want to get a criminal record and the amount is very high in your case, making it more difficult to get the ACD depending on your record and the court you are in. Check out my website and Avvo rating and reviews for more information. Sometimes these cases can be handled for a fee of $500-$800 depending on the number of appearances and in Manhattan it is usually one attorney appearance and you go to the court with the letter that you completed the community service without the lawyer having to be present saving you at least one more appearance. Most courts in New York City other than Nassau are going to handle the case with a good plea to a violation in one or two appearances.
John J. Carney Esq.917 696 2363