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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25954
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was wondering how does the criminal law work for section

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Hello, I was wondering how does the criminal law work for section 182-96?
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: Virginia at Macy's
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No I have not. Will be going to the arrangement court this Monday.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Right now I am abandoned from going to Macy's. I would like to know how can I get out of it?


I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and I may also have to respond to other customers.

All criminal defendants have two broad choices: to fight the case all the way to trial if need be; or, to accept a plea offer from the prosecutor and dispose of the case without a trial.

If you want a deal, you could probably go in on your court date, plead guilty and ask for a fine and make this case go away, but I wouldn't recommend that. This is a misdemeanor and that would give you a criminal conviction on your record.

If this is your first ever contact with the law, however, you are likely to get an offer from the prosecutor that will keep this offense off of your record. Typically this would be a diversion or deferral disposition. Both are very special forms of probation available to first offenders of certain low-level offenses such as misdemeanor shoplifting. This program generally would involve fines, community service, anti-theft classes and a brief period of probation. If you successfully complete all of the court's requirements, at the end of your probation period the case is dismissed, so that there would be no conviction against you on your criminal record. If you can get either of these offers, that would be a good way of coming out of this without a conviction.

And, of course, depending upon the facts and circumstances, you may feel you'd have a good chance of winning this at trial. Either way, you should have a lawyer, however, as criminal cases can have lifetime consequences if you don't know what you are doing and if you don't know all of the rights you have.

If you can afford a lawyer, have him there with you on your first court date. If you cannot, when you come before a judge to get arraigned, after he reads the charges against you and asks you how you plead, plead NOT GUILTY, which will keep all of your rights open to you, and then tell the judge you cannot afford to retain counsel and ask the judge to appoint you a public defender.

It is both correct and expected for criminal defendants to first plead not guilty at their arraignment because we are all innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt under US law. So you never plead guilty without knowing what punishment you're going to get in exchange for the guilty plea. Once you get a deal that will keep this off of your record you can always take back your not guilty plea to accept the deal. But once you plead guilty you can almost never take that back and become not guilty again.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
Is there jail time for this? Or are you able to turn it around and not have it on your criminal record?

It s too late for me to call you tonight. If you wish a call I can talk to you tomorrow. Is that okay.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
It isn't to late to call me tonight. If you can I really appreciated.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
I would like you to call me tomorrow morning. I would really appreciated. Thanks.

Sorry but there appears to be a payment processing problem and the site has not given me the authorization to call. That has to be sorted out with customer service. They will contact you.

I'm turning in for the night, but I can quickly answer your last follow up and then if you need more clarification, just reply and I'll deal with it in the morning.

Jail is allowed under the statute, but the odds of you going to jail on a first arrest petty larceny case are zero. You should be able to come out of this without a criminal record with the assistance of a lawyer. I explained that option in the first paragraph of my first answer.

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.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I was wondering will this be on your criminal record that will appear on free searchable websites? If your charge gets dismissed by the judge.

Arrests are a matter of public record, so they can always possibly turn up on unoffical sites after a Google search. If you got the matter dismissed, however, it would show up on your official criminal record as an arrest and a dismissal rather than a conviction.

I strive for 5-star service. If I have addressed all of your concerns, please take the time to rate my service to you by selecting 3, 4, or (hopefully) 5 stars on the rating scale, as that is the only way that JustAnswer gives us Experts credit for our work. You would still be able to post further follow ups on this question thread about this for no additional cost, even after I've been rated.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Hello. I was wondering do I have to enter a plea at the arraignment or can I ask the court for a little more time and enter a plea later?

There's nothing to think about. Its expected for criminal defendants to plead not guilty at their arraignment because we are all innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt under US law.

From there if the state makes you an offer at your arraignment, you can ask for a new date to think it over.

Please consider rating my service before you exit the site. I have spent substantial time dealing with your follow ups and a positive rating is the only way I get credit for my work.

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