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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23948
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was caught trying to shoplift about $250 worth of

Customer Question

I was caught trying to shoplift about $250 worth of merchandise at Target. Loss prevention told me that I should expect a court summons in the mail and that I would have to pay my fines at court, however the officer who came gave me a Notice to Appear, which says that I must go to the County Court within 10 days to pay the fine prescribed. It doesn't give an amount for the fine. Will I be asked to plead guilty/ not guilty? Will I be able to ask the judge for a diversion program? I'm only 18, and it would be difficult for me to afford a lawyer. I have one previous offense (hit and run when I was 16).
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 months ago.
Hello, There is no fine because this is a criminal offense and the judge will determine the penalty. Because this is a criminal offense, your first date is generally an arraignment where you would be able to plead not guilty and ask the court for diversion or for some other disposition that would keep this off of your record. Keep in mind that you cannot negotiate a deal after you plead guilty or no contest. You MUST plead not guilty or negotiate with the prosecutor before the court date if you want to get a diversion type of disposition.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 months ago.
Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.