Q: Do I need a lawyer for a shoplifting case?
Its my first first offence and I have not been in trouble before I am worried of it staying on my record and possibly going to jail and losing my kids
A: It would be a good idea to reach out to a criminal defense attorney in your area. If you can not afford an attorney you should apply for a public defender.
A: If the charge is a misdemeanor shoplifting and you have no record you are likely eligible for Pre Trial Intervention. The program will cost around $325 but if you complete the program the charge will be dismissed and your record will be eligible for expungement. However just because you are eligible doesn't mean the officer or court will automatically refer your case to the program. You should speak to a criminal defense attorney in your area about your options and the norms of your local court in order to make your best informed decision.
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