Q: If i have a first time shoplifting citation, will I go to jail?
A: It would be rare to have jail time on a first charge of shoplifting. I figure you are charged in Arkansas. Shoplifting is a misdemeanor but could cause you some trouble later in life depending on where you want to work and your career path.
You should sit down with a lawyer in the area where the court is located and review your options. Also, you might appear in court without an attorney and speak with the prosecutor. All courts have a standard fine, etc. If you can live with their offer, then take it. If not, bring an attorney to the next hearing.
Make sure you will be able to clear your record after you pay your fine and successfully serve your probation. Now, if you are a teacher, cop, professional, etc. get an attorney. In fact, when asked, lawyers are supposed to advise you to get an attorney. So, get an attorney. Before I did that though, go talk with an attorney. I would go to court and hearing what they prosecutor says.
I would speak to several attorneys too. You might respond here and tell us what court you are in and specifics. You will probably be banned from the store and in addition to fines from the Court, you might receive a demand for $200 from the store.
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