ok here goes ... first get a lawyer and if you don't have money try for free Public defender.. if you Qualify for one.. don't go it alone and yes they do try and use scare Tactics and they can go back and charge you for others in Iowa I heard it's a year ... not sure where your at... as my lawyer told me on 1st time arrested for shoplifting and clean RECORD I was able to work out a plea bargain and defred sentence with the help of a lawyer. he also told me that it would be best for me to get some PROFESSIONAL help with all the stress and emotional stuff that came at me even when all said and done I still had to work it out with my job too... more waiting again. it's all a crime if you take something from store without paying hiding it or changi g price tag and it's also crime to return it or return stuff with old receipt too. it depend on dollar amount and how often you did it.
it could be simple mistermeanor to serious mistermeanor to fenloy charges ... like I was told its a crime of Moral Turpitude.
I'm learning ALOT about why I did what I did with lots of help and realizing that thank God the LP officer and Police officer were doing their jobs good that day because they did help me with mine, because I know now I would of be in more serious trouble if I didn't get help I needed and I also was keeping it hard to say keeping it a secret from myself along with so much more also you will have to deal with stuff like when your freinds family others find out do they help you or judge you and some may walk away too. its a really bad Decision that you made Learn from it and go on from there make sure you get some help I have been learning from my bad decisions and it's great to have some help and a safe place to talk about it without being judge over it. when you do go to court make sure you go and listen dont argue or yell and dress nice. because it's so very true this will be a part of your background record. I hope this helps. and also don't talk about what happen or what you did to any one but your lawyer it all can be used against you in court.