My question involves criminal law for the state of: California
I have just been charged with a petty theft misdemeanor in Santa Cruz, California. The total amount shoplifted was no more than $25. Unfortunately I also had marijuana in a compartment in my keys. (To clarify, I have not smoked the substance for some time and it was given to me as a birthday present in mid August, I put it on my key ring and have since left it there.) I have to appear in court on November 5, 2009. I am 20 years old and am going to be applying to NURSING school this week and I need to know what steps I should take to expunge my charge and what to do during my court date. I am willing to be on probation, do community service, pay fines, and go to counseling. I am so worried that this idiotic mistake will ruin my future by giving me a record.
What can I do to show the court that I will not break the law again?
How long do I have to wait before I can pusure expunging my charge?
Do I need a lawyer at my court date?
What should I look for in an attorney?
Do I plead guilty at my court appointment (November 5, 2009)?
Is there anyway to quickly prove that I regret my mistake and would never make it again so that nursing school would be possible for me?
What are deferred judgment or diversion programs?
Would I be eligable for a deferred judgment or diversion program?
Should I pursue a deferred judgment or diversion program?
I don't want this mistake to ruin my future, I NOW fully understand the consequences am so ashamed of my actions that I am positive I will never again consider theft an option. I know nothing. Any advice is greatly appreciated. PLEASE help me if you can.
Desperate and Ashamed;