I am charged with shoplifting in CA (Santa Clara county) - first offense, value less than $200.
I am wondering how big the likely penalty will be (he read everything from fines to probation to prison)?
One thing I read about is "informal probation". What is that?
Also what actually happened was that I put an item into a plastic bag while shopping because I had to much stuff in my hands. Then I simply forgot about it. Is there any possibility that a judge will believe that? Or will it be better to just plead guilty?
Is it worth taking a lawyer? I read that they charge in the area of 2000 - 5000$ for something like that. But if the sentence is a fine of $1000, that doesn't seem to make sense, or does it?
And my final question: I am in the US on a work visa? What will the effect be?