What to do if I stole something from my work that totals less then $400 I have no other criminal record?

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What to do if I stole something from my work that totals less then $400 I have no other criminal record?

This is my first offense. I have 5 children at home and am the only parent. What can happen to me when I go to court?

Asked on December 3, 2012 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that anytime criminal charges are involved it is always advisable to have legal counsel. An experienced attorney can possibly get the charge dismissed on a technicality or at least get it reduced.

Since you are first-time offender, they may also be able to arrange for something called "diversion". This is a process by which you will plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation, and upon successful completion the charge is withdrawn and the case is dismissed. As long as you stay out of any further trouble, you can then move to have your arrest record cleared or "expunged" (actually, this is typically done automatically in a diversion).

Again, seek legal representation. A criminal law attorney in your area can more fully advise you as to all of this. If money is an issue, see if you qualify for representation by legal aid or see if they can recommend someone to help you. Also, check if there is a law school nearby to where the arrest took place; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these kind of cases. Additionally, you can contact the local Bar Association in the county where the proceedings are being held; they may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances.

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Theft of less than $1,000 in Arizona is a class 1 misdemeanor.  Penalty is up to $2,500 fine and six months in jail.


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