What should I do if I got cought shoplifting for my first time?

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What should I do if I got cought shoplifting for my first time?

Asked on December 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, Arkansas

Answers:

David West / West & Corvelli

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are caught shoplifting in most states, such as the state of Georgia, and it is your first offense, there are several things you should know.  First, you are probably not facing jail time or even, in most circumstances, any lengthy probation.  Most prosecutors will recommend a fine, perhaps community service and in some cases a class you have to attend dealing with theft. 

The bigger issue is whether you can get your case resolved so that it does not appear on your criminal background checks.  If you try to resolve your case alone, there is no guarantee that you won't have to plead guilty to the crime.  If you plead guilty or nolo it will be on your record for good.  Sometimes, if you do the things the prosecutor wants, they will dismiss your case - but this does not automatically cause your arrest to get expunged from your record.  In many cases, the only way to guarantee that you will be able to get this charge erased from your record is with the help of a lawyer.

It also goes without saying that if you are not guilty of shoplifting, you need the services of a good criminal defense attorney even more.  Take advantage of lawyers, such as ourselves, who offer free consultations to go and see a lawyer, discuss your case, and find out what the lawyer thinks you should do.  An honest lawyer will tell you whether you really need their services.

Best Regards,

David S. West

Attorney at Law 

David West / David West & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are caught shoplifting in most states, such as the state of Georgia, and it is your first offense, there are several things you should know.  First, you are probably not facing jail time or even, in most circumstances, any lengthy probation.  Most prosecutors will recommend a fine, perhaps community service and in some cases a class you have to attend dealing with theft. 

The bigger issue is whether you can get your case resolved so that it does not appear on your criminal background checks.  If you try to resolve your case alone, there is no guarantee that you won't have to plead guilty to the crime.  If you plead guilty or nolo it will be on your record for good.  Sometimes, if you do the things the prosecutor wants, they will dismiss your case - but this does not automatically cause your arrest to get expunged from your record.  In many cases, the only way to guarantee that you will be able to get this charge erased from your record is with the help of a lawyer.

It also goes without saying that if you are not guilty of shoplifting, you need the services of a good criminal defense attorney even more.  Take advantage of lawyers, such as ourselves, who offer free consultations to go and see a lawyer, discuss your case, and find out what the lawyer thinks you should do.  An honest lawyer will tell you whether you really need their services.

Best Regards,

David S. West

Attorney at Law 


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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