Well you didn't answer my only question, which was how much the item was you were alleged to have taken. So, I can only guess what you are charged with. I will have to assume that you have been charge with petit larceny
and that the value of the item was less than $1K. In that case, since this is a Class A misdemeanor
, you could get as much punishment as up to one year in jail and a $1k fine. However, that is not the reality of what occurs if you are convicted. Because you do not have a record, you will like get fined, perhaps up to the value of the item you were alleged to have taken of a few hundred dollars, whichever is more, and have to pay court costs. You might be put on probation as well. Finally, I would request that the court enter you in pre-trial
diversion. If they do that, then if you stay out of trouble, the charges will be completely dismissed.
If there is any chance that the arrest or ticket might have been improperly carried out, then I would encourage you to plead not guilty, and ask the court for a continuance until you can hire an attorney. If the facts are in your favor, your attorney might be able to get the charges dismissed. You don't want a criminal record
if you can avoid it.