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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 13486
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I've never been in trouble and got arrested

Customer Question

I've never been in trouble and got arrested for shoplifting in target. The officer came and said they usually write a citation for this offense, but said it was my lucky day and handcuffed me and told me I was going to jail for the night. I contacted a bondsman and got bailed out and my court date is a week from today. I'm wondering what I can't expect. I'm 27 years old and my record is clean. Did I technically serve time already since I was put in jail? Am I eligible for a diversion program? If so what does that entail? What kind of fines am I looking at? Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What I CAN**** expect. Sorry autocorrect
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also I'm located in Mesa AZ
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Shoplifting property valued at $1,000 or less is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona and carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail, a maximum $2,500 fine and up to 3 years probation. If you were sentenced to jail time if convicted (HIGHLY unlikely on a first offense) you would get credit for the one day served.
If you are a first-time offender, you may be able to qualify for pretrial diversion, which is also referred to as deferred prosecution. Many factors play a role in the State’s decision of whether a first-time offender is allowed to enter into diversion. These include, but are not limited to, the nature of the charges, the facts of the case, etc. Being allowed to enter into pretrial diversion is not a right for a first-time offender, and it is not an automatic process.
Instead of going into litigation, you are put into a program instead. You are not convicted of the crime. You are not taking a plea. The court is not adjudicating the case. The program you are entered into will involve certain conditions, such as attending classes or counseling, possible community service, and of course, staying out of any other criminal trouble. This is negotiated with your criminal defense attorney. Once you have completed the program successfully, you will receive confirmation from the state attorney that the case against you is dropped. But if you fail to complete the program, then your case will go back into the system for litigation. You can try to request placement into the pretrial diversion program again, but it’s often not an option after one failed attempt.
Getting into a diversion program also would result in a dismissal of the charge. You'll still have to later petition the court to expunge the case from your record (so that it doesn't show up in background checks).

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