How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27460
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was picked up Larceny today...I walked out of the grocery

Customer Question

I was picked up for Petit Larceny today...I walked out of the grocery store with $84.64 worth of groceries....Never have I done this before....NO criminal record at all....Ashamed of myself to say the least...Money has been tight and need groceries for my kids.....
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.


My name is ***** ***** I'm a New York State criminal lawyer.

In my experience, if this is your first contact with the criminal justice system the DA will offer to reduce the charge from a misdemeanor to a violation -- either disorderly conduct or trespass -- either of which would not be a crime if you wanted to plead guilty to the reduced offense. You'll have a sentence to complete: a fine, or community service, or anti-shoplifting classes, or a conditional discharge. But if you stay out of trouble the matter will seal in a year and not turn up on your record.

There is even a possibility, if you ask, that the DA might consider an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. An ACD is a delayed dismissal. You don't have to plead guilty to the charge as it is a dismissal, but you do have to stay out of any further trouble with the law for 6 months, before the dismissal is sealed or it can reopen on you and you'll have to fight the case all over again.

Either way, if you wanted to resolve this case rather than go to trial, so long as you make your court appearances, you won't have to worry about jail, and you should be able to put this matter behind you, as I have said above, without ending up convicted of a crime.

Plead not guilty when you go to court at your arraignment and then if you don't have the money to retain a lawyer, ask the judge for a public defender and if he can't get you the ACD, he'll be able to get you the violation.