What will happen for a first-offense petit larceny?

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What will happen for a first-offense petit larceny?

I stole from a store. I never before had done anything like that and my record is clean other than moving violations. I was wondering what will happen? Is there a chance of my record being okay if I do something (that is more important than whatever fine they pin on it)?Also, I’m 18 and in high school still if that helps.

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, petit larceny is a misdemeanor so you should have legal representation in this case.  An experienced lawyer might be able to get the charge dismissed on a technicality. Since you are a first-time offender, a criminal defense attorney may also be able to arrange for something most states call "diversion". What this is an alternative sentencing program in which you plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion your plea is then be withdrawn and the case dismissed.  Typically, your criminal history record would be automatically be cleared. 

Note: Diversion is only given to first-time offenders. Therefore if you get into trouble again, it will not be available for you regarding any subsequent charges.  However, if you get an attorney and they get your case dismissed, you will be eligible for diversion in the future if you should need it.


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