if I have never been in trouble before, what will happen to me for a shoplifting offense?

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if I have never been in trouble before, what will happen to me for a shoplifting offense?

I was caught taking $40 worth of items.

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since you are a first-time offender (i.e. have no prior criminal record), the judge can give you a special probation called "deferred adjudication" or "diversion". Pursuant to this alternative sentence, you will go to court and enter a guilty plea. The judge will then issue a probation to include community service, a fine, restitution, etc. When you successfuly complete your probation, your plea will be withdrawn and your case is dismissed. You will be left with a clean criminal history record since there was no conviction. However, in some states you must apply to have your arrest record "expunged" or "sealed", even though the conviction itself does not appear on it.

At this point you may want to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. Diversion is only available to first-time offenders, so if your lawyer can get the charge dropped (e.g. on a technicality), then diversion would be available in the future should you need it.

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Since you are a first-time offender (i.e. have no prior criminal record), the judge can give you a special probation called "deferred adjudication" or "diversion". Pursuant to this alternative sentence, you will go to court and enter a guilty plea. The judge will then issue a probation to include community service, a fine, restitution, etc. When you successfuly complete your probation, your plea will be withdrawn and your case is dismissed. You will be left with a clean criminal history record since there was no conviction. However, in some states you must apply to have your arrest record "expunged" or "sealed", even though the conviction itself does not appear on it.

At this point you may want to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. Diversion is only available to first-time offenders, so if your lawyer can get the charge dropped (e.g. on a technicality), then diversion would be available in the future should you need it.


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