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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  14 years practicing criminal defense.
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Hey so I am 20 yr old from Wisconsin and I got caught shoplifting

Customer Question

Hey so I am 20 yr old from Wisconsin and I got caught shoplifting $84 worth of stuff from Kohls. I have never stole anything before and don't know why I did it. I know I learned my lesson and will never do it again. Sooo stupid. I just want to know what will happen. The store security stopped me outside the store and had me come back in. I admitted to stealing and cooperated. They asked for my information and banned me from the store. The police showed up. Threatened to put me in jail but just gave me a ticket for $208.50 and court is not mandatory. I don't know if I should go or not. The store also said I would receive a civil demand letter in the mail. The lady at the store said it won't be on my record for jobs and stuff just in their info n the police will know. Is this true? Im okay with paying money for what I did but I really can't have this on my record and I don't want anyone to find out. What's the smartest thing to do? I'm a hair stylist and cannot lose my job! Help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
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Thank you for using JA.
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Shoplifting in WI is considered a class A misdemeanor and would be reported on someone's criminal record if they plead guilty or are found guilty of the offense. In addition to the criminal fine, the store can seek a civil penalty of up to $500 plus the cost of the item.
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But if the person has a clean record otherwise, they may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program to keep the criminal offense off their record. Typically this involves the defendant paying court costs, a service fee, and being on probation for some period, usually 6 mos to a year. There may be community service ordered as well. If the person successfully completes the diversion, the case is then dismissed and doesn't show up as a criminal conviction.
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It is a one time shot to keep your record clean, so this is definitely something to look into by asking the prosecutor's office to see if you are eligible. This wouldn't affect any civil demand the the store makes though.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help please do not rate 2 stars/faces "Helped a little" or 1 star/face "I expected more". This is considered a negative rating against me.

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Just reply to me via the “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” or “REPLY” button with the questions you have as I receive no compensation for my efforts for the lowest two ratings.

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Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you understand and resolve your situation. I don't make the laws, I am just reporting or interpreting them, so the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.

.
Please be patient as I am typically working with several customers at any given time. Some answers take 5 minutes, some 35 minutes. But rest assured, I will get back to you.

.

Please be aware that I am not entering into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. With that in mind, please do not post any specific information you do not want available for public viewing. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So what is my next step? How much would court costs and service fees, etc be? My main concern is having a record that people or employers can see and I also don't have much money to pay a lawyer and all that
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Well, the court costs vary depending on the particular county the court is in as they set their own fees. But typically court costs are under $200. I found one county that stated that they charged a $150 fee for the diversion program, $75 up front and $75 upon completion so I would opine that that is probably the standard fee.
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You would need to go to court on the assigned court date and ask to speak to the prosecutor. You can probably call the prosecutor's office before the court date and ask to speak to someone about the diversion program. Then you would explain that you have a clean record otherwise and that you would like to see if you are eligible for the diversion program. Assuming that you are, the prosecutor will likely refer you to some court person who can go over what is expected and get you signed up. Then you stay out of trouble for the probation time, pay any fees, complete any community service (if applicable) and then at the end of the probation time, the charge is dismissed.
.

.

.

Thanks.

Barrister

.

If you need further help please do not rate 2 stars/faces "Helped a little" or 1 star/face "I expected more". This is considered a negative rating against me.

.

Just reply to me via the “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” or “REPLY” button with the questions you have as I receive no compensation for my efforts for the lowest two ratings.

.

Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you understand and resolve your situation. I don't make the laws, I am just reporting or interpreting them, so the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.

.
Please be patient as I am typically working with several customers at any given time. Some answers take 5 minutes, some 35 minutes. But rest assured, I will get back to you.

.

Please be aware that I am not entering into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. With that in mind, please do not post any specific information you do not want available for public viewing. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay how long would probation typically be in this instance? And what is the diversion program exactly? What do I plea at court... Since I admitted to what I did? Also if pay the court fees and do the diversion program, will I still have to pay the $208 fine on my citation?
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Although I already answered that in my first response, typically the probation period is 6 months to a year.
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This is the description I posted above:
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"Typically this involves the defendant paying court costs, a service fee, and being on probation for some period, usually 6 mos to a year. There may be community service ordered as well. If the person successfully completes the diversion, the case is then dismissed and doesn't show up as a criminal conviction."
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So basically once you get signed up, you stay out of trouble, pay any fees, and do any community service they give you. That is it, you don't have to report or do anything else.
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Again, you would need to contact the prosecutor or his office to ask about your eligibility for the diversion program. If you do it before your court date, then it will go much smoother.
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If you are eligible for diversion, then they wouldn't make you pay the fine for the offense, only the court costs.
.

.

.

Thanks.

Barrister

.

If you need further help please do not rate 2 stars/faces "Helped a little" or 1 star/face "I expected more". This is considered a negative rating against me.

.

Just reply to me via the “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” or “REPLY” button with the questions you have as I receive no compensation for my efforts for the lowest two ratings.

.

Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you understand and resolve your situation. I don't make the laws, I am just reporting or interpreting them, so the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.

.
Please be patient as I am typically working with several customers at any given time. Some answers take 5 minutes, some 35 minutes. But rest assured, I will get back to you.

.

Please be aware that I am not entering into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. With that in mind, please do not post any specific information you do not want available for public viewing. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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