My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
In many cases, with a person's first offense, the prosecutor may be willing to allow your daughter to enter a diversion program. What that means is that, if she agrees to plead guilty, and successfully serves one year of probation
, following all terms, the charges will be dismissed. The terms of probation usually include a fine and could also include community service of some sort. That is the best possible outcome in these cases, because most employers now do background checks and a theft conviction can make it very difficult for a person to get a job later.
When the property is worth less than $100, the theft is a misdemeanor
of the second degree. Fl. Stat., Section 812.014(e)
. That means that the maximum penalty is up to 60 days of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 (not including the amounts she had to repay the store), or both. Jail is very unlikely for a first offense. Most likely, if she is not able to do a diversion program, the DA would ask her to pay a fine. If there is even the remotest possibility that the DA will ask for jail (which is not likely), your daughter has a constitutional right to have an attorney appointed at no charge if she cannot afford one. The lawyer would then negotiate with the DA. But considering her age, the amount of the items allegedly taken, and the fact that she has no criminal record, jail is not likely.
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