How do I go about dealing with a misdemeanor theft charge in MN

DETAILS

Yesterday I was caught shoplifting at a WalMart and the value was $26. They gave me a civil form from Wal Mart in which i need to pay $50 for their damages. The police was also called and I was given a citation in which I will need to appear in court (I called today to learn what my fine was and they said I would get a summon in the mail). I am curious how I should go about this — I would prefer to get it off my record and am unaware how to do this. I am 24, this is my first offense and I do have a fulltime job but was considering looking for a new one.
Also, I would like to know what my fine might possibly be and if this is something I can fight to get off my record. I really just want to have a full understanding of what potential next steps may be. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER

The best thing to do is fight the case preferably with the help of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will go over all the facts and circumstances of the incident with you to determine whether your rights were violated or whether you have a good defense.

Further, an attorney will help you avoid tarnishing your record. There are a number of options especially if it’s a first offense. Also an attorney will appear with you at court to ensure you understand the proceedings, your rights, and any plea bargains.