My question involves criminal law for the state of: New York
**I am aware that there is another recent thread pertaining to a shoplifter in N.Y. under similar circumstances, however I have questions which are more specific to my case and feel they could be best answered in a different thread. I apologize if this seems like a re-post or breaches forum policies.**
Hello. I am a 20 year old student, currently enrolled in a college local to the area of my crime. I was recently arrested for shoplifting from Macy's in Brooklyn, N.Y. and received a DAT (Desk Appearance Ticket) I am scheduled to appear in court next month and in the time leading up to my court date I am seeking to learn as much information as I can so I can be as prepared as I possibly can be to achieve the best possible outcome. I have already been made aware that the Judge will appoint me a legal aid on the day of my trial as I cannot afford a lawyer of my own. Unfortunately, this means that I have had to gather as much information as possible, as to the possible outcomes on my own. Many times the information I have come across has been unclear so I hope some of my questions can be answered here.
The first question I have is would I be eligible for an ACD (Adjournment in contemplation of dismissal). I have learned that seeing as this is my first criminal offence I may be offered an ACD however it appears that the cost of the merchandise that was in my possession will affect my eligibility. The four products I attempted to steal cost approximately $95- $150 dollars. Have read varying accounts from several sources one stating an ACD is only available for an attempted theft of $100 while others have said $200 and even as much as $500. I hope that someone here can clarify the amount so I know if an ACD may be an option. If not I am aware I may be eligable for a plea deal which could turn my charge into a violation.
The second question is regarding my charges. On the DAT only the top offence I am being charged with is listed, which is PL 165.40 (Possession of Stolen Property). I realize that it is very likely that I am being charged with another offence and would like to find out if I am, and if so, what the other charges are. I have tried contacting the Courthouse about this matter however they have not yet received my arrest record and have said they may not until the day of my court appearance. Would I be able to find this information out by contacting the Police Precinct which booked me or must I await my court date?
I ask these questions for two reasons, the first is so that I may be prepared as possible for my court date. I have realized I have made a terrible decision by shoplifting and while I am prepared to accept responsibly for my actions I also want to minimize the amount of damage they do to my life and reputation. The second reason is that I suffer from anxiety and over these past several days I have had several anxiety attacks both at home and in class. I hope that by being better informed I can attain some peace of mind prior to my court date.
I sincerely want to thank anyone who read this or replies to me, as well as those of you who have written in other threads as the information has proved invaluable to me.