What will happen to me for a first offense shoplifting charge?

UPDATED: Jul 9, 2012

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What will happen to me for a first offense shoplifting charge?

I was caught shoplifting $53 worth of stuff. I just turned 18 a few weeks ago and I’m trying to save up for college and some friends told me they had shoplifted and not gotten caught. It was so stupid of me to do it and now I don’t know what’s going to happen. Is this going to be on my record for the rest of my life or will I be able to pay a fine or community service or something to get it off? Do I need a lawyer? How high of a fine should I expect to pay, if there is one? Do you think I’ll go to jail?

Asked on July 9, 2012 under Criminal Law, Indiana


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Because shoplifting conviction can result in a fraud conviction on your record, you will want to have a lawyer in this matter to protect your criminal interests.  For first time offenders, the court will usually offer you some type of deferred sentence or pre-trial diversion that will this offense not to appear on your criminal record once you successfully complete all of the court ordered conditions, which can include paying fines and costs. My advice is to first consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area to help protect your criminal record and avoid any jail time.


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