My question involves criminal law for the state of: NEW JERSEY
I sit in stunned shock as I write this as it it the most horrible feeling to be put in cuffs and taken away in a police car. I was caught with $190 worth of merchandise in my handbag and in another small plastic bag. I begged them not to call the police but of course they did. I apologized profusely for what I did and acted respectfully and caused no trouble whatsoever. I don't know what to do. I have two other incidents - one when I had just turned 18, for which I was convicted, and another incident, for which I was NOT convicted TWO years ago, and which (just yesterday, ironically) was expunged. I didn't need to get it expunged as I was not convicted but I did not want the arrest on my record. Now, after all that time and money, here I am finger printed and photographed AGAIN. I am now 46, so the original incident I had when I was 18 was many, many years ago but I know it still shows up on my arrest record as the police officer asked me about it today. I am currently unemployed and I don't know what to do. Will this arrest and/or subsequent conviction be on my record should I go for a job? Is it even worth it to ask for a Public Defender? As embarrassing as it is to admit, I did the crime.
Thank you for any help.