My question involves criminal law for the state of: I live in PA. I feel like my life is spiraling out of control. I don't know why I was stupid enough to do such an action but I made the horrible mistake of shoplifting at Wal-Mart and was caught. I got a non-traffic/citations offense and I plan on pleading guilty because I AM guilty. I stole some makeup which came to the amount of 39.71 which is god awful. I was very compliant and they kept telling me it would be fine and that it's not the end of the world. However, I know it will not be fine and it is the end of the world for me. Currently, I am a junior in Social Work and I have royally messed up my life because of this. I have no history of any criminal activity what so ever and never plan on doing something so vile again. This is a first offense. I have to do pre-field stuff for next year and will have an FBI background check and all of that. At Wal-Mart I had to follow the cop to the police station where I was finger printed and this is now officially on my record.
I have to go and see the person to plead guilty to and pay fines I was told...or if I want to I can do a court thing? I am not sure. I would rather just beg and grovel as I hate myself with all the fiber of my being for my actions. I do not want to appear in court. Will I be arrested? The cop was very nice and said the lady in charge of everything was nice and that he would write that I was very compliant and well behaved. He also mentioned looking into getting an expungement months later to get my record cleared. Is this even possible? I have read otherwise that it takes a lot of work and up to a year. How long does it actually take? He also said I could petition myself somehow.
I just am really lost in life and don't know what to do anymore. I am ashamed and everybody is disappointed in me--especially myself. There is no excuse for what I have done. Will I not be able to continue my career in Social Work (which means my entire life to me)? Will it effect my graduation? Will it effect me doing pre-field activities? What are the consequences of my actions? Will I never be hired anywhere for any type of work? Will I never be able to do any type of helping profession again? I really want to help people in the future but at this point I can't even help myself. Somebody please help and tell me everything you know. I'm sorry. I just need to know what will happen and how it will effect my school/career. I should be graduating next year...but now...it's not looking good at all. I'm so sorry this was so long. I feel so guilty and am such a disappointment.