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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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My son was arrested for shoplifting at Spencers last week

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My son was arrested for shoplifting at Spencer's last week while on vacation with his grandmother. He tells me he put 2 bracelets in his pocket with some of them hanging out of pocket while he was looking at shirts. The clerk says he was shoplifting and called the police. These 2 items cost $2.99 each. Once the police arrived she was insistant he should be charged civilly and criminally. I thought he could only be charge for one or the other. We received arraigment papers yesterday. When I called the court today they were unable to tell me what will happen to him. Can you tell me anything. Thank you
Good evening! I am an attorney that addresses these sort of matters on a regular basis. Before proceeding, could you provide a specific question? Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What will happpen when we go to the Arraigment? The Clerk at the court said he could plead guilty and would be sentenced on that day. What will his punishment be?

The arraignment is a very preliminary court date. Historically, it is intended as an opportunity for the judge to read the formal charges to the defendant. As the clerk suggested, it is certainly possible for the defendant to enter a plea to the offense and to be sentenced, thereby bringing a quick end to the case.


Having said that, the case can certainly continue on beyond that date as well. Typically, the prosecuting attorney might make an offer to resolve the case. If the defendant is satisfied with that offer, he might accept the offer and close out the case. If not, then he would reject the offer and the case would then continue on.


Assuming your son has no criminal history, this should be considered a minor matter. With that in mind, it is reasonable to expect an offer of fines and court costs. Your son should consider attending the first court date without an attorney to see if he can obtain a satisfactory offer. If not, he could then look into retaining an attorney to work the case for him.

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