What should I expect in court tomorrow for a first time offense petty theft?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2012

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What should I expect in court tomorrow for a first time offense petty theft?

I have no priors and no record; I was noted to be cooperative and remorseful. My roommate and I took less than $10 worth of food from the campus grill because we hadn’t eaten in over a day due to a poor sleep schedule from studying. The officer did not want to charge us with anything, he left it up to the school’s dining services and they called him back saying they wanted to charge us. Is it possible to have this charge dropped or lessened to an infraction? How should I go about doing so? I have never been to court and do not know what to say or anything. I am very scared.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Criminal Law, Minnesota


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the court appearance is your first appearance, you will be arraigned where you will be read the charges against you and requested to make a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.

It is a good idea to consult with a criminal defense attorney before you decide to make a plea since you are charged with a criminal defense. Most likely since the charge is your first offense the court may just fine you and place you on court supervised probation for six (6) months or so. If you complete the probationary period without incident, most likely the charge will be dismissed without any conviction on your record.

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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