Crime is often thought of as a deliberate, malicious act. But most of us know that isn’t true. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes the mistakes we make leave us with lingering problems that impact us for years to come.
While people may believe that crimes such as petty theft or shoplifting are not something to worry about in the long run, it’s important to remember that even these relatively minor offenses can have long-term effects on a person’s legal record. Here’s what you or your loved one needs to know before heading to court for a petty theft or shoplifting charge.
What to Do When Charged
The first steps after being charged with petty theft or shoplifting will vary, depending on what happens directly after the offender is caught. Some people may be taken directly to jail for processing, while others will be issued a court date. This may also depend on the age and prior record of the offender.
If you or your loved one has been charged with petty theft, your first step should be contacting a petty theft attorney. Keep quiet otherwise and remember that in any legal case you have the right to remain silent at all times. Only in the presence of your legal counsel should you talk about the incident. This way, your words won’t be used against you detrimentally – and your next steps will be guided by a professional in the field.
Legal Help When and Where You Need It
Many legal practices offer services for minor crimes and misdemeanors such as shoplifting and theft. Los Angeles area residents have many options for legal assistance when it comes to petty theft and other minor offenses. Contact your nearest legal firm for more information and details on hiring a petty theft attorney. Don’t attend your hearing without preparation; arm yourself with knowledge and the legal counsel you need so that you won’t be stuck with mistakes hovering over your head for the rest of your life.