Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
To answer your first question, yes you should hire an attorney.
There are several reasons:
First, an attorney will be able to spot legal or factual issues with the case that may make it difficult or impossible for the state to prove.
She has already admitted to it at the store and before the police officer. She was caught red handed.
Second, if there aren't any issues, an attorney can help negoiate the best deal possible for your daughter. A local attorney likely has relationships with the DA's office and judges that a person coming in off the street may not have.
Even still, the "confession" may not be admissible, depending on the circumstances. I'm not saying there are issues, but I'm just saying that having an attorney review the case is prudent.
Can you recommend an attorney in my area?
Unfortunately, the terms of Just Answer do not allow experts to recommend specific lawyers. I can, however, point you to two websites that allow you to search for lawyers by practice area and location. They both also rate lawyers. Check out www.martindale.com and www.lawyers.com.
If she is convicted of the misdemeanor, do you know what the consequences are for such charges and can I have it expunged afterward?
If your daugher is convicted (or, under juvenile law "adjdicated delinquent"), she can get it expunged. You can hire a lawyer to handle her case and get it expunged later. It is best to pay one fee up front, as most lawyers will include it all in one price.
A conviction for a misdemeanor are generally relatively small - low fine, community service, and a few months probation - but a theft conviction can have longer effects.
Theft is considered a "crime of moral turpitude," and many job applications ask about felony convictions and theft convictions (not suprisingly, employers are hesitant to hire people with a history of theft). That is why it is so important to hire a lawyer now so that she can be in the best position to keep a conviction off her record.
Even though it will not be a felony conviction but a misdemeanor, will that still count against her for future job opportunities or must it be expunged and if expunged, could she answer no to the question, have you ever been convicted of theft, etc.
Yes, if it is expunged, she can lawfully answer "no."
Great - thank you for your advice. I will retain an attorney. Thank you very much.