What will happen for a first-offense petit larceny?

UPDATED: Sep 10, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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you plead guilty to the charge, receive a special probation, and upon its successful completion your plea is then be withdrawn and the case dismissed.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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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