Hello. I will help you with your questions. I have been an attorney for 26 years.Shoplifting of an item valued from .01 cent to $500 is a misdemeanor
in the first degree
. This is a serious offense which which carries a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Since this is a first offense, you will probably not be given jail time. However, having this on your record will not be good for future job opportunities. Another positive as a first time offender is that you will be able to apply for the sealing of your criminal record
. Here is what the law says about this:(2) Any person who has been arrested for any misdemeanor offense and who has effected a bail forfeiture for the offense charged may apply to the court in which the misdemeanor criminal
case was pending when bail was forfeited for the sealing of the record of the case that pertains to the charge. Except as provided in section 2953.61 of the Revised Code, the application may be filed at any time after the expiration of one year from the date on which the bail forfeiture was entered upon the minutes of the court or the journal, whichever entry occurs first.One of the deals you can try to get is pre-trial
diversion. This means that you would have to follow some conditions such as paying restitution and a fine, going for counseling, etc. If you successfully complete the conditions, your case could be dismissed. Here is part of the law: (A) The prosecuting attorney may establish pre-trial diversion programs for adults who are accused of committing criminal offenses and whom the prosecuting attorney believes probably will not offend again. The prosecuting attorney may require, as a condition of an accused's participation in the program, the accused to pay a reasonable fee for supervision services that include, but are not limited to, monitoring and drug testing. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can ask the court to give you a court appointed attorney. Contact the court to ask how this is done. Usually, this is done in the courtroom on your court date.Please let me know if I can help more. I will be happy to answer more of your questions. If you are satisfied with my help, please rate me.