I was arrested for shoplifting and got a summons.My court date is on the 4th of Jan. Should I go with a lawyer?It was my first time and I do not haveany records of being arrested or anything like that.I did it from just quarter life crisis and do regret a lot.In this case, I will not go to jail right?I will get a probation...? will this be on my record forever?Do I need a lawyer to ask to erase this from my record?
State/Country relating to question: New Jersey
It's almost always better to have a lawyer, if only because they make the process go more smoothly. With a lawyer, you might not even have to appear in court. If it's your first offense you will probably get probation. You should also check into whether your county has a "diversion" or "deferred adjudication" program. I don't know what it's called in New Jersey but most states have them. They are programs for first offenders and small-time offenders that allow for the case to be dismissed upon completion of a program of community service. I.e., you would have no Criminal Record. If you do end up with a criminal record from this it will likely not be difficult at all for a lawyer to file papers to erase your conviction, after sufficient time has passed and assuming you don't get in any other trouble. Good luck!
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