My daughter (18) was arrested for retail fraud III a few days ago for lifting approximately $45 of goods from a local merchant. This is her first time in trouble with the law. The supposed friend she was with encouraged her to do this and was also arrested.
We are financially well off and my daughter has access to her own money as well as ours when she needs things, so why she did this is a mystery that not even she can explain.
My question is one more of local politics than anything else... we live in a relatively small community and I know individuals that work in the different levels of law enforcement, including the police and the local courts.
I know a police officer and a court administrator who have indicated to me that these types of charges have been dropped before, based on who you are or who you know in the community.
Is there any legal precedent for the prosecuting attorney to drop charges, if it is communicated to him/her that my daughter will be asking for a trial by jury (at which time she would get an attorney) and will be calling the above mentioned individuals to testify that others have received special treatment because of who they were or who they knew? Basically airing the system's dirty laundry.
I am asking this question without my daughter knowing because in the end, I want her to pay restitution to the merchant (even though they did get their goods back in salable condition) and I want her to learn a life lesson, but I really don't want her to suffer the rest of her life because of a single stupid mistake.
Thank you to anyone who can chime in on this.