I have committed a shoplift and gotten apprehended at a department store. The merchandise is over $100 but under $200. Under the circumstances, I signed a civil recovery demands, and was given a citation from an officer to appear in court. I am only a college student, what are my best options for this to not affect my future? The possibility of getting the misdemeanor charge expunged? Thank you.
3 Answers from Attorneys
The first thing you must do is not talk about the facts of the case or make any admissions on line. The second thing you should do is talk to a local attorney about whether your county has a diversion program or some other way to prevent a conviction. This will prevent a conviction from showing up on your record. If you cannot afford an attorney the court will appoint one to represent you.
Mr Shapiro is correct. You need to have your attorney try to work something out so this does not show on your record. Also do not talk about this in a public forum or to anyone other than your attorney
Expungement may be possible later to clear your record if you are convicted of these charges.
A little free advice: next time exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to police or anyone about the case except with and through an attorney. Sounds like you already signed a confession.
When charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or statement be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, programs, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Iíll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.
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