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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20227
Experience:  Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law
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My 18 year old neice was shopping at Walmart with her co-workers.

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My 18 year old neice was shopping at Walmart with her co-workers. the co-workers were shop-lifting and placed a lipstick in my daughters bag. They were caught by in-store security. No police was called. My daughter received a letter from the magistrate and went in to be finger-printed. She now recieved another letter indicating that she had to pay a fine and either plead guilty or not guilty. If she pleads guilty, will she have a crimanal record

Thank you for the information and your question. I will need to know specifically what the summons/letter said your niece was charged with in order to answer your question. If you have a code section, in addition to the specific charge that would be helpful too.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The letter indicated : Retail Theft Misdemeanor I don't see a PA code or section listed.

Hello again and thank you for the additional information, it was helpful. Yes, if your niece pleads guilty and is not given pretrial diversion, she will have a criminal record, since a misdemeanor is a criminal conviction. I would strongly urge her to consider hiring a local criminal defense attorney who may be able to get the charge dismissed altogether on the facts after negotiating with the prosecutor's office. Or, at the very least her attorney can negotiate pretrial diversion. In that case, what happens is if she stays out of trouble for a specific amount of time, usually six months to a year, the State/court will dismiss the charge. That would mean no criminal conviction. She would still have an arrest record but would not have to say she had been "convicted."

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.
Marsha411JD and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the legal answer I provided to you on the 1st. The Site has been a little buggy lately so the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get credit for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.