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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,907

    Default Re: I Was Caught Shoplifting

    When a cop (or prosecutor) tells you that it will be easier if you offer incriminating evidence or plead guilty, they mean it is easier for THEM.
    Never take legal advice from a cop (the only good advice I've ever heard is "You're going to need a lawyer.").

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: I Was Caught Shoplifting

    Some reading for ya.

    Expungment has to be part of a plea deal. Otherwise, it looks like you have to wait 10 years; or be 70 years of age; or dead for 3 years.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: I Was Caught Shoplifting

    To echo everyone.

    NEVER EVER plead guilty. You ALWAYS plead not guilty. Then get an attorney and the attorney will advise you of your options and perhaps work out a plea deal with the state and get you some consideration.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

    I think we will be hiring an attorney to help. Thank you all. As for expungement, where I am from they have changed expungement cases to make it up to a year (after the judge signs) for the offense because of rehabilitating programs. This was recently put into place the last few years. I have been researching endlessly, and that is the only positive thing I have found. It seems like from what I've read it is 5 years otherwise.

    Regardless, do you think it would hinder me if I still wrote a thank you letter to the cop for treating me decently? I could have been in the back of a police car. I was not. I could have been handcuffed. I was not. I could have been treated without respect. I was not.

    I do have one final question. If I still wanted to plead guilty with an attorney--is it possible that I can still get some sort of plea deal or have anything worked out? I'm just curious. Of course, I would follow whatever the attorney said I'm sure.

    I really wish I could go back in time and stop myself from ruining my life and people's around me. I have ruined my entire future. I think even smoking pot or something would have been better than this...

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

    If you write a letter to the cop, do so after your case is over.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

    Quote Quoting PandorasBox
    View Post
    If you write a letter to the cop, do so after your case is over.
    Agree, to write the officer beforehand could be interpreted as trying to get the officer to effect the outcome of your case in your favor.

  7. #17

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

    Thank you! Sorry, I had no idea that could be interpreted that way. It did not even cross my mind...thank god I asked here. I don't want to make it any worse. God, I have no idea how anything works.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

    So, I'm not sure anyone will care in particular but I feel the need to update everyone on my situation and just express myself in general. Sorry if this annoys people but I just want to inform people of what can happen. I had to wait until the 7th for my court date and it felt like an eternity. As I find my family extremely important in my life, I had kept no secrets from them to begin with, and I am a very fortunate person to have a supportive family. We looked into getting an attorney and found one. He was very kind to me and could tell that this was a flaw in my character (although I'm sure they say things because they're being paid too). He even reduced my price a bit in paying for his services because he did not consider me a criminal and said if this was the worst thing I have ever done in my life then my parents were lucky. My parents were there for me too and in the room later with him and things were sorted out.

    My lawyer set up the quickest date possible with the magistrate right after my first meeting with him and got me in pretty early to have a court date. I am very thankful for this as the wait is the absolute worst part. I tried to keep myself distracted but it's been hard not to despise myself or feel ashamed (which I should) for having to put my family and my future goals through this stupid mistake. A "mistake" is a very light thing to say too. My parents pay for everything for me and college so it is hitting us hard with the lawyer price. However, in the end I ended up waiting to go into the court room on the 7th. My lawyer went in first and was in there with the magistrate for half an hour or so before I came in. As soon as I entered the court room I immediately started bawling while meeting the magistrate. All I could do was cry and say thank you over and over again.

    The magistrate was the kindest and most caring person I have ever met in my entire life--and I am so lucky for that. Beyond lucky and appreciate her forgiveness and understanding attitude so much. Really, I owe everything to this person for saving my future and myself. She said that I was not a bad person and I made a mistake. She said she could tell I'm a good person even solely by the fact that I am deeply regretful and that the fact I had my dad (and parents in general) with me that I was raised well. She told me some stories of other things people have done related to shoplifting too and that I was smart to plead not guilty--otherwise that could have haunted me the rest of my life on my record and taken longer to be expunged. So I really have all of you to thank for that and my lawyer, as god knows how it would have turned out otherwise. Thank you all so much.

    It may seem like I was acting when I was crying but my god I really wasn't. She didn't even have me sign a plea which my head was spinning at the time but that was so...so kind of her. I really have no other words. Now, as for what I have to do isn't so bad. I have to attend only one of those rehabilitation classes and will have to wait for when I can get in. I had to pay 100 dollars up front to get in the class and 73.50 later on. After I have completed the class she said to work on my expungement immediately which is what my lawyer is going to do. She also said not to do ANY clearances for school and internships until my expungement is done, along with checking online later to make sure it is officially away. She said this will all be over and hugged me at the end and told me a personal story of her own. She said she knew she would never see me there again and I said that NO, I would never ever do anything wrong again in my life.

    After I got out of there my lawyer said I did okay and things were going to be all right. All I can say if I am so grateful to everyone here, my family, and for the people even in the court system for treating me so decently. Hell, even the police officer and Wal-Mart people were decent to me. I doubt it happens to most people and I have been most appreciative as I probably don't deserve the kindness because what I did was wrong. I don't mean to sound ridiculously melodramatic either so I'm sorry if it comes off this way but I am still very emotional. I feel like I have learned a lot from this experience and I plan to use this experience to help others in my line of work someday. I feel like this class will be good for me too as it puts me in the position being a client in group therapy work and can be a good humbling experience for me as I'm sure it will be very humiliating.

    Overall, I had to pay 1,500 for an attorney, 100 dollars for the class, 73.50 after the class, 150 for the civil demand from Wal-Mart and I know there's other costs I'm forgetting too but I'm just kind of all over the place. Please, if people ever read this do not steal. Not even for the price you have to pay but just for the good of yourself. Your own morals and values...that's what should matter most. Do not hang out with people who do this sort of thing either. RUN, run immediately. Even if they talk about it do not stay friends with them. It is not worth it. You don't want to hang around people like that, you want to hang around people who are better than you so you can become a better person.

    Thank you all very much. Especially to those who read this. Thank you all for the advice. It's really helped me out...along with your kindness. I plan on being a good Social Worker in the future and making a difference in the world. I have learned a lot. I want to achieve for better and higher things and be a better person. I also plan on never hanging out with "friends" that are bad influences again.

    Edit: Oh, and the expungement my lawyer said has taken as long as two months for when he's done it. So, it could be longer or shorter for that. PA's laws have changed regarding expungement so I am VERY lucky for that too with how much less time it can take.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,560

    Default Re: Caught Shoplifting in Pennsylvania

    Thanks for sharing. We do like it when people come back and share the rest of their experience. Again, thank you for doing so.

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