If you are in college or otherwise just beginning your life here in Georgia, you do not need an arrest or conviction on your record that could jeopardize your future. A criminal record could prevent you from furthering your education, limit your employment opportunities or keep you from qualifying for a security clearance if you wish to work for a government agency. Even charges such as shoplifting or theft could derail your plans for the future.
In addition, any current charges that remain on your record could make any future entanglements with law enforcement agencies or courts worse. Whether you are charged with shoplifting, retail theft or retail fraud, do not risk those charges ruining your future. The same is true if you are accused of stealing services instead of goods or of “dining-and-dashing” from a restaurant.
An attorney can explain your rights to you. An investigation into the circumstances that led to the arrest might also reveal problems with the prosecution’s case or a violation of your rights. Any potential weakness in the case against you could result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges. If no weaknesses are apparent, it might be possible for you to participate in pretrial diversion programs (including counseling), community service or probation while keeping your options open to possibly have your record expunged in the future.
Do not attempt to deal with shoplifting or theft charges on your own. It might seem easier to plead guilty and believe that puts an end to the matter, but that might not be the case. A Georgia attorney can help you find the best resolution to the charges to preserve your future.