What can I expect after being charged for shoplifting?
Question Details: I was charged with shoplifting $72 worth of merchandise. It's my first offense. Am I going to jail?
First of all, for a first offense shoplifting charge of $75, jail in not something that you need toworry about, although probation and a fine are likely. Further, when a defendant has no prior criminal record, the court will allow for a special probation known as "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing tool that allows a person clear their criminal record upon successful completion. The way it works is that the defendant goes to court and pleads guilty to the offense. The judge then issues a probation (community service, imposition of a fine, resitution, etc). If and when the sentence is fully completed, the plea is withdrawn and the case is dismissed. Basically, the case is "diverted" out of the criminal justice system, so you will be left with a clean criminal history record.
At this point you may want to consult with a criminal law attorney. Diversion is only available to first-time offenders. If they can get the charge dropped on a technicality or the like, then diversion would be available to your son in the future should he ever need it (hopefully not)