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BenPrince, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28
Experience:  Criminal Defense Practitioner in California
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I was arrested for shoplifting and got a summons. My court

Customer Question

I was arrested for shoplifting and got a summons.
My court date is on the 4th of Jan.
Should I go with a lawyer?
It was my first time and I do not have
any records of being arrested or anything like that.
I did it from just quarter life crisis and do regret a lot.
In this case, I will not go to jail right?
I will get a probation...? will this be on my record forever?
Do I need a lawyer to ask to erase this from my record?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  BenPrince replied 7 years ago.
It's almost always better to have a lawyer, if only because they make the process go more smoothly. With a lawyer, you might not even have to appear in court. If it's your first offense you will probably get probation. You should also check into whether your county has a "diversion" or "deferred adjudication" program. I don't know what it's called in New Jersey but most states have them. They are programs for first offenders and small-time offenders that allow for the case to be dismissed upon completion of a program of community service. I.e., you would have no criminal record. If you do end up with a criminal record from this it will likely not be difficult at all for a lawyer to file papers to erase your conviction, after sufficient time has passed and assuming you don't get in any other trouble. Good luck!