What To Expect If You Are Charged With Shoplifting or Petit Larceny in Fairfax County
If you are facing a Fairfax Petit Larceny or a Fairfax Shoplifting charge your case will be set at 9:30 in courtroom 2J. When court starts the judge will begin by first talking to all the individuals who are eligible for a disposition under the Opportunities, Alternatives, and Resources (OAR) program. The OAR program is an excellent opportunity available in Fairfax and few other jurisdictions.
Under Virginia law a conviction is typically for life. Expungement or the removal of a conviction, from a person’s record is not available if someone is found guilty. The OAR program is one of the exceptions to this punishing rule. The OAR program allows for even a guilty person to have their case dismissed if they complete 47 hours of community service and a 3 hour anti-theft class. The case is rescheduled for about 6 months to allow completion of the program. You will have to return to court at the end of the 6 months to make sure the proper paperwork has been completed for the dismissal. You will have to return at the end of the 6 months to verify successful completion. In addition to community service and the class, you must also stay out of trouble for that 6 month period.
When the judge calls eligible people it is smart to participate in the interview. It’s often referred to as an interview, but it’s actually more of an information session. An opportunity for an OAR employee to discuss the program and what is expected of participants. After completing the interview you return to the courtroom and wait for the judge to recall your case.
The judge will only call cases involving individuals who don’t have lawyers, also known as proceeding pro-se. If you have hired a lawyer you will need to wait for your lawyer to talk to the Prosecutor about your case. This conversation between the defense attorney and the Prosecutor is of great benefit to you. The Prosecutor has great discretion on how a case is prosecuted. However, they rarely, if ever seek punishments greater than authorized under the OAR program. So it’s very rare that the punishment is increased. However, there are frequent times when a Prosecutor is willing to authorize a lesser punishment for sympathetic defendants.