My question involves criminal records for the state of: California
I am 19 years old and was caught at Urban Outfitters stealing a shirt. The alarm went off as I was leaving the store and when asked several questions about what it could be I asked the manager if we could go to the back room where I showed her the shirt and the police were called. The shirt was $98.
This is my first misdemeanor, or any crime at all, including driving tickets. i am extremely ashamed and embarrassed about the situation but I need help figuring out what to do.
I was given a ticket by the cop and at the bottom it said "on or before this date" Feb. 8th 2010 at 8:15 am. Does this mean I can come earlier than that date as long as it is at 8:15?
I have also been reading other threads and am getting more and more confused on what to do. I thought I could just show up at the courthouse, receive a fine, and leave. But now I am wondering if I need to get a lawyer before, get a lawyer when I get there, if I can somehow dismiss the charges, etc. I will do any community service, pay any fines. All I am worried about is jail time and getting it on my record. I don't know if I should plead guilty or not guilty or say "I stand mute" or what..I am so lost.
ANYTHING that would help my case I will do it. I am at a community college transferring next semester to a UC, I have a great job (where they do fingerprinting when you're hired) and I am so scared off losing everything. Will my job be notified of what happened? Will I be able to get hired at a prestigious employment ever again?? Please help me with any information on what to do.