I received a notice to appear for petit theft at a Walmart. This was a simple mistake of an item not being rang up properly at self checkout ($40). I was not paying attention and simply missed it. But I received a no trespassing and a notice to appear resulting in a charge of petit theft. At the time of hearing I was referred to pre-trial diversion. I received the paper in the mail about the program about a week ago and am scheduled for contract signing in a few days.
I am trying to understand what the requirements for my specific program will be. Is usually an intake drug screening for all participants or are drug screenings only for individuals with drug related charges? Also , how does supervision and fines work? . I am trying to find out what amount of money I will need to pay and pretty much just want to know what to expect when I go in to sign my contract next week.
I have been a teacher for Orange County for 15 years. This stupid misunderstanding could cost me my career and my ability to take care of my children. I am seriously stressing and really need to know what to expect so I can mentally prepare myself. I am trying to keep this a secret from family and my husband as I am about to file for divorce and do not want him to be able to use this against me.
Any advice or guidance you can give me would be appreciated greatly.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You are presumed not guilty in every case. Furthermore the state needs to prove intent which appears unlikely based on what you wrote. I would strongly suggest getting an attorney in your area to file a motion or even go to trial if necessary.
Pretrial diversion is a lot like probation. Supervision usually involves going to check in once per month. There may be a drug test. There will likely be some classes like an impulse control course that are associated with theft cases. I don’t know precisely the amount but it may eventually total in the range of about $1,000. The PTD program usually takes between 6-12 months to complete.
It is true that you are presumed innocent and there may be issues in your case that would indicate that the state can’t prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. On the other hand, PTD is a guarantee that the charges will be dismissed. If the case is dismissed you may also be eligible for getting the case expunged.
I would strongly suggest that you consult with a family law attorney and not simply try to handle it yourself, especially if you are trying to keep the criminal case hidden because you are concerned about whether your spouse may be able to use this case against you. Good luck and feel free to give us a call.
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