What are the consequences of a second petty theft offense if the first charge was dismissed?

DETAILS

So my friend and I were dared into taking a few wallets two years ago and were caught. We were under 21, so we were able to join the deferred program and get the charges dismissed/expunged, However; I’m honestly, sadly a kleptomaniac and today I got caught taking $43 worth of stuff from a grocery store. I received a citation and will obviously be having a meeting with the judge in the coming months, but what is the worst I can expect? And what can I possibly do at this point, if anything to make amends?

ANSWER

I agree with my colleagues. You will be facing a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and $1000 fine. That is the worst case scenario.

If this is your first offense, there are a few options worth exploring. The most important thing to do is keep your record clean. Any conviction will have negative impact on job opportunities, housing opportunities, and schooling opportunities – to name a few.

I understand why you might want to “make amends”. There is certainly a time and a place for that. However, while the case is pending, the best thing to do is to remain silent, and hire an attorney to assist you in keeping your record clean.

A free consultation is a must. Almost all criminal defense attorneys on Avvo offer free consults. It’s worth a visit to an attorney to discuss the particulars of your case in confidence.