Once the State’s Attorney will decide whether there is enough evidence to prosecute the case he will file charges. His decision as to how to charge you will be based upon the evidence that is available to him.
The Vermont Burglary statute provides in part
§ 1201. Burglary
(a) A person is guilty of burglary if he or she enters any building or structure knowing that he or she is not licensed or privileged to do so, with the intent to commit a felony, petit larceny
, simple assault or unlawful mischief. This provision shall not apply to a licensed or privileged entry, or to an entry that takes place while the premises are open to the public, unless the person, with the intent to commit a crime specified in this subsection, surreptitiously remains in the building or structure after the license or privilege expires or after the premises no longer are open to the public.http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=13&Chapter=023&Section=01201
At a trial
the States Attorney will have to show that at the time you entered the store that you intended to commit the theft
. The prosecutor will have to evaluate the evidence of your case and determine if he thinks he can show that at the time you entered the store you intended to commit one of the offenses listed. He will have to evaluate the specific facts of your case. If you walked right in, grabbed a coat and ran out the door, then he may have an easy case. The same would be if you had worn clothing into the store to help conceal the theft. This shows planning. There can be many factors that go into the decision. It really depends upon how strong of a case a prosecutor thinks he has, and if he wants to use resources to prosecute you for the more serious offense. If there are not egregious fact present in your case and it can be characterized as a simple shoplifting he may decide to charge you with a low level offense.
Once he decides how to charge you will either be given a notice to appear in court for arraignment without being arrested, or will be arrested and lodged at a correctional facility until the time your arraignment. Usually the arrest happen when a person commits a violent
crime or has criminal history.
In the cases where the suspect is lodged at a correctional facility, at which time the judge or court clerk determines the conditions of release or bail until the time of arraignment.
For an arraignment a hearing is held in district court, at which the defendant is informed of criminal charges and can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The court will also make sure you understand your rights and advise you of your right to have an attorney appointed to represent you if you cannot afford counsel.
This is also when you can inquire about diversion or deferred prosecution. The majority of diversion clients are charged with misdemeanors; typical violations are disorderly conduct
, simple assault, larceny, retail theft, unlawful mischief, alcohol and marijuana violations, and bad checks. Diversion programs can accept defendants who have been charged with a first or second misdemeanor or a first nonviolent felony.
When a person is accepted for diversion community members on review boards meet with clients to develop contracts that address the particular offense and the underlying reasons for the client’s actions.
Victims have the opportunity to voice their opinion, and contracts may require participants to pay restitution, undergo counseling or substance abuse treatment, write letters of apology etc. Participants accept responsibility for violating the law and work to repair the harm they caused and, if successful, do not end up with a criminal record
Upon successful completion of the program, the state’s attorney dismisses the case. Two years later, the Court orders the sealing of all records related to the case. If an offender does not complete the terms of the contract, the case is returned to court for prosecution.
Please let me know if you have anymore questions.
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