– from Sharon O. in Hartland, WI
I was caught at my local clothing store with some smaller items in my bag. I never even left the store and they approached me and asked me to empty my bag. They then proceeded to arrest me. I told them that I didn’t plan on leaving without paying but the arresting officer said I can still be found guilty for concealing store merchandise. I work in retail and would like to avoid having this end up on my criminal record because I’ve never done any crimes before. How should I plead, guilty or not guilty?
Criminal Defense Attorney Response:
The answer to this question is difficult. Without knowing more about the case, it is hard to give a definite answer.
But you’ll almost always plead not guilty at your first court appearance.
The smartest thing you can do is to contact a criminal defense attorney and further explain the details of the event to them. He or she can then best advise you on how to plead.
Theft is a fairly common type of crime and a good attorney should have experience dealing with this sort of charge. If they have a proven track record, there is a chance they could keep this off of your record since it is your first offense.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.