I am I know that I have similar case as everyone else here but Iím very confuse and I just someoneís help with my own case so I can understand better.
Yesterday I was caught shoplifting at Macyís in Wayne, NJ. I was attempting to steal two dress shirts valued at $55.00. My reason for stealing was to give it to my father for father days. Yea, I know very stupid reason but I guess I wasnít thinking straight. I am 20 years old and this was my first offence. I have a clean record. Also, I am a straight A student graduating in a year. This was my FIRST and LAST time stealing something.
Anyways, they caught me outside of the store and were asked to go back into the Security room. I was sat in a chair and basically charged of store civil rights penalty which was $150.00. They also called the cops and I was arrested for shoplifting and taken to the police station. A charge was filed and I was finger printed and everything. The cop then took me back to the Store where I had my car parked and let me go with the summon.
One of the cops there told me that if I tell the judge that it was a stupid mistake and why I did it, the judge might let me go and all I have to do is pay the fine. Is that possible?
This is my first offense. What should I do in the Court?
Do I really need an attorney to represent me for this shoplifting charge? If yes, how much do you think it will cost me because I donít think I can afford it and also do you recommend any good NJ lawyers that can help me with some just couple of hundred dollars?
Will this be on my permanent record? I am willing to do whatever it takes - hours of community service, diversion programs, etc. I read somewhere on the site charges will disappear after 2 years and your record is clean and perfect. Is that true? Is there anyway I can take this off my permanent record?
Should I ask for a Public Defender or Court appointed lawyer. If yes, where do I find them and do I need to pay them also and are they any help?
I've definitely learned my lesson and I will NEVER steal EVER again. It is not worth it! I may have destroyed my future. I was so ashamed and disgusted by myself. This has been a life-changing experience for me. I am so scared now and I need your help. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME! I just want to keep this off my permanent record. ANY help would be appreciated. Thank you.