Legal advice for shoplifting...?

Before I explain my situation, I would like to say that yes, I fully understand what I did was completely wrong. I messed up big time and there is no excuse for it. I am thoroughly disgusted with myself and my actions and am asking for some advice, and not a lecture of my wrong doings.

A little over a week ago I got caught shoplifting from Wal-Mart in NH with $70 worth of make-up ( yes, I know very stupid, not worth it, and pathetic). It was the first time, and certainly will be the last time I ever, ever do something so stupid. I am 18. I was not arrested, but I was taken to the police department and asked to explain the situation, take my picture, fingerprints ect. They gave me my court date and the officer was very nice and understanding and told me not to worry, it isn't a big crime. However, this did not take away the great deal of shame, guilt, and disgust I had and still have for myself and my actions. Anyways, I am currently a freshman in college in MA working towards my nursing degree. I would really not like this to be on my record because being a nurse, it will hurt me trying to get a job and would have to report and explain this to the Board. Also, I constantly remind myself every day of my stupidity and just the sight of Wal-Mart makes me queasy so I need no extra reminders on my record. I would just like to know if asking the police departments prosecutor for a plea bargain would be a good idea to try and keep this off my record. Do they usually give plea bargains for these types of situations? If you have any extra helpful advice for me, it would be extremely helpful. Thank you in advance for taking the time out of your day to help me with this dilemma.


Another thing is that Wal-Mart had a lady undercover that was going around the store spying on people/ searching for people stealing so it's not like I can plead not guilty because she was the one who stopped me and my friend at the exit and asked me to empty my baggage.

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    You would be wise to consult with an attorney before you talk with the police prosecutor. This is probably a NH Class B misdemeanor which means even if you plead guilty you can petition the court to annul or expunge your record if you are of good behavior after three years. A lawyer may be able to help you get this "placed on file without a finding" or another type of more favorable disposition. If you are looking for lawyers in NH I would suggest finding someone who is in private practice but has worked earlier in the NH Public Defender office. These are the people who know the offenses, the prosecutors and the judges. Attorneys like Cathy Green are excellent but expensive. Her office may be able to direct you to someone who is less expensive.

    Among other things the lawyer will tell you that it is your right to plead "not guilty" at an arraignment. That is a procedural matter and allows you to take some additional time to review all the police statements and reports and to consult with a lawyer. It will also allow you to possibly work out a deal with the police prosecutor. Neither the Judge nor the prosecutor will hold it against you for a "not guilty" plea at arraignment. You can always change your plea to guilty after you have considered all the evidence and your rights. Nevertheless the police prosecutor may even offer you a sweet deal at the arraignment just to clear his case load. You need to be prepared for any situation that may arise at arraignment. That's why a lawyer can be helpful.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You may have just screwed yourself forever.

    Hate to tell you, but if you were taken to the Precinct, questioned and fingerprinted, you were arrested. They just didn't cuff you.

    You have a court date -- this means you were formally CHARGED with larceny. Since it's under $100, they may consider it a misdemeanor and give you a fine. WalMart will definitely ban you for life (they do that to every shoplifter). However, if somebody screws up and charges you with the felony larceny, you will be barred from getting a nursing license forever.

    If you have a felony conviction, you can NOT get be approved for a nursing license in any state. Further, if you ever commit a felony of ANY kind (even DUI), once you have a nursing license, you can lose it forever.

    If you have a lawyer I would ask for a plea bargain. Anything not on your record is better than anything on your record!

    Besides -- you will have a hard time getting a job forever, if everytime you fill out an application, you have to answer "ever been convicted of a crime?" with YES, which you will have after you go to court.

    NO HOSPITAL will hire anyone who deals with patients or medications with a record. Period. Every hospital I have ever applied to specifically asks "have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, you are not eligible for this job posting."

    Good luck!

    Source(s): ER nurse, 14 years
  • 9 years ago

    No lecture. My suggestion is contact an attorney. The lawyer gets listened to by the judge and DA much more frequently than the average citizen. If everything is as you said, in my area your conviction will be a misdemeanor, not a felony, and since it's your first offense, you will get probation. Your conviction will be held in abeyance for the length of your probation, then dropped from your record if no further criminal activity is reported. Attorney fee is a small investment in your future. Good luck.

    Source(s): Wife is District Court Clerk
  • Betsy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I would recommend that you contact an attorney. You might be able to plea bargain down to a municipal ticket. Then it would not even be a misdemeanor.

    Although attorneys do charge fees, minimizing the impact on your record would be worth it.

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  • LM
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    You could try and see. Talk to them, I think if you do community service or take classes then it could clear up on your record, it wasn't a big crime but still it wasn't really worth it. My boyfriend did the something similar to this and he took some counseling classes for it and it got cleared in his record so you should go and find out.

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