My question involves criminal law for the state of: California
I am a 19 year old, regretting the decision of shoplifting less than $50 worth of merchandise at a big retail shop. I was arrested (no jail) with cpc 488 and was allowed to leave the shop. I'm wondering:
1. How long will this be on my criminal record? I've heard of 3 to 5 years?
2. How do I get a Public Defender, and is it hard to acquire one?
3. How much should I expect to pay in court?
4. What would happen if I plead not guilty? I've noticed this advice to many other threads.
Any other pertinent information would be very much appreciated.
Also, 5th question: would this affect my chances on leaving the country february 2011? I am a permanent resident