What to do if I was charged with misdemeanor theft for a $30 shirt?

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What to do if I was charged with misdemeanor theft for a $30 shirt?

The whole ordeal was an honest mistake. long story short – I took my newborn out shopping. while in the fitting room, he began to cry. Frazzled, I started taking out everything in his diaper bag, throwing his blankets and extra clothes onto the bench, looking for his pacifier. I got him back to sleep, I just started grabbing handfuls of his stuff and shoved it in into the bag so I could get out of the store before another crying fit. Apparently, I grabbed a shirt as well and put it in the diaper bag without realizing it. The store had already Called the police without talking with me. What should I do here? How should I plea? I don’t want To drag this out, But don’t want it on my record!

Asked on April 24, 2013 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As long as this was a first offense, you may be eligible for something known as "diversion". This is a legal tool used to help defendants who have never before been in trouble with the law. Pursuant to diversion, you will go to court, plead guilty to the charge and then be placed on a special probation. Upon successfu completion, your plea will be withdrawn and the case dismissed. You will be left with a clean criminal history record.

However, be aware that diversion once used cannot be granted again. That's why you may want to hire a criminal law attorney who can possibly get the charge dismissed, etc. Therfore, diversion would be a possibility if you should ever be in this position again. 


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