What is the penalty for shoplifting if you have never been in any trouble before?

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What is the penalty for shoplifting if you have never been in any trouble before?

Amount was $201. Should I speak with a criminal defense attorney? In Williamson, TN.

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Criminal Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that shoplifting charges can usually be resolved via a pre-trial diversionary program that is only available to first offenders.  Upon successful completion of the program, charges are dismissed and nothing remains on your record, other than the inability to use the program a second time.  That being said, if there is an independent basis to resolve the charges and get a dismissal WITHOUT using the diversionary program that is favorable, so that you will have the diversionary program available to you in the future if you ever get in trouble again.  Therefore, I suggest that you consult with a criminal defense attorney in the interest of obtaining the most favorable resolution possible.


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