Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Good evening. I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. Were the police called and were you charged with shoplifting? Are you a first time offender?
Yes, there is something you can do. If you do not have any legal defenses and want to resolve this, you can ask the court to enter into a diversion type of program, to get the case dismissed. This is typically offered to first time offenders and requires them to stay out of trouble for a period of time, pay a fine and court costs, perform some community service and sometimes to take a shoplifters, prevention/education class. This is something which you can ask about when you appear for the first time.
You will need to appear in court. If you retain an attorney, they may be able to waive your appearance but if you want to enter into the program, you likely will have to appear at one time. As far as it being in the paper, it is unlikely but some local publications do and can publish such incidents
If the Officer charged you and you were issued a citation, you should receive something in the mail, to appear, within the next 30-45 days. Once that happens and you appear, the program could last 3-6 months and then it could eb dismissed.
At this point, if the police were called and you were charged, it is at the discretion of the State to prosecute and file charges. You would need to retain an attorney and have them speak with the case filer and see if they would not file and drop the charge.
I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!