<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ashamed:
I really need some help. I live in Oregon and was caught shoplifting. I am a mother of 3 and have never been in trouble a day in my life. I don't know why it happened, but it happened. I have to go to court on May 1st and don't know what to expect. Will this go on my record permanently? I am so ashamed I haven't told anyone. Do I need an attorney? Like I said this is my first and last offense. Any suggestions?? Thanks for taking time to help.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sometimes, we all go a little nuts. There's no explanation, and we do things that we normally would never do. It happens. It's not an accident, mind you - - it's like a "synapse" problem. Anyway, it all depends on the value of the item you stole. So, the following will be premised that you have been charged with petty theft, or petty larceny.
If this is your first offense, it is 99.99% sure you'll not do any jail time. You will have to make restitution (if the item wasn't already returned), you'll be fined, and you'll spend some quality time with some nice people picking up trash in, what is lovingly called, "Community Service." The judge could give you anywhere from 25 to 100 hours of that. While this is a serious matter, it is not a Federal Case either. If you are guilty, then plead that. This is really very "proforma" for the courts and an attorney is not really necessary. You're not going to Sing-Sing or Alcatraz Island. You'll be in and out of court in a matter of minutes. Heck, you'll be waiting longer for your turn in front of the judge, than your case will take to hear. Bring a friend with you for moral support.
Good luck. And don't ever do that again !!
P.S. Yes, it will be on your permanent record.
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[This message has been edited by I AM ALWAYS LIABLE (edited April 09, 2000).]