Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
You should hire a criminal defense attorney, to represent you in this manner. The attorney needs to review the discovery, obtain any video that the store or mall may have of you and depose any witnesses, which are key, to the prosecution of this case. The State is going to have to prove you had the "intent" to deprive the owner of the merchandise. Your attorney is going to need to decide, if the charges against you can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. A proper defense will need to be built, to show flaws in the States case. This theft can be questioned, depending on how and where you were caught and if you left the store. If there is not a reasonable defense to go to trial with, your attorney will need to speak with the prosecutor and work out a plea deal. Going to trial and losing, could be much worse then resolving your case, ahead of time. A clear record will help you out. For a first time offender, you are looking at between 18-24 months probation, a with-held adjudication, court courts, fines and will have to pay restitution to the store which the merchandise was taken from. Once the case is closed, you can seal your record, since this is your first offense and you were not convicted. Another option, if the State allows, would be to enter a pre-trial diversion program, which would result in the charges being dropped, if you successfully complete it.