The most important thing here is whether or not this was a mistake on your part and whether or not you actually had the CRIMINAL INTENT to steal anything. If you are terminated, there will not be much that you can do about losing your job and your biggest worry here is whether or not the company will actually try to prosecute you for this. My suggestion is that you get a criminal lawyer ASAP and pay the lawyer a few hundred dollars to be on retainer -- that way if the police are going to arrest you they must contact your lawyer FIRST and give you the opportunity to turn yourself in at the police station without you having to go through a big scene of being handcuffed at work or at home and walked out to a cruiser. If you cannot afford and attorney then there is not a lot you can do before they arrest you because you must wait until after you are charged before the court will appoint an attorney for you (the court clerk will ask for your financial information and if you are indigent the court will appoint an attorney but this will not happen until after your arrest and arraignment (first court appearance where you plead guilty or not guilty)). If you must wait until your arraignment until an attorney is appointed then you should plead "not guilty" until you can speak with the attorney -- the case will then be continued to another date. If you have no prior criminal history then I do not see any jail time for this if you are found guilty -- most likely it will be probation and a fine -- but if you have an attorney the attorney may be able to convince the DA that it was a mistake and that you had no criminal intent here -- and you might be able to get the charges reduced or dropped. To find a local criminal attorney you should contact your local county bar association -- they all have referral services -- and you can find them in the phone book or probably on line by doing a search "your county, your state, bar association referral".
In the meantime if the police want to pull you in for questioning the only thing that you want to tell them is that it was a very big mistake and that you did not intend to steal anything. Do not let the detectives or police question you for hours and hours in an effort on your part to try to convince them that you did not do anything wrong because all they will do is twist your words and actions into a confession and make you guilty before you even get your day in a court of law. So, if they sit down with you in a conference room either at trhe employer or the station, you simply tell them in 10 minutes that it was all a mistake and a misunderstanding -- and if they seem not to believe you or they start getting rude and obnoxious and want to question you further, you need to immediately say "I WANT AN ATTORNEY" -- you must be clear and unwavering in your statement that you want an attorney -- if you are wishy washy about the statement and say something like "I think I need a lawyer" or you ask the police officer or detective "do you think I need a lawyer" the police do NOT have to stop questioning you when you make such wishy washy statements and they can keep trying to get a confession from you. So, you need to be very FIRM when you state that you want a lawyer.
I hope this helps.
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