I'm glad I found this site.
I was caught for the lamest thing. I switched tags on a cheap scarf at a thrift shop. I was caught and arrested. They called in an officer and filed a report though I wasn't taken in. They told me that I will hear from the court and need to speak to a judge who will decide what will happen next. There will be a prosecutor present. I was offered the option for ?diversion? where the charges could be dropped from my record if I take a class and do community work; it will be up to the judge if I can get this or will be fully charged and prosecuted.
I admitted guilt as soon as I was caught. It was caught on camera. The surveillance officer said that was good and that I was respectful and cooperative and that was good. The police officer was cooler but offered similar sentiments and except for the handcuffs while they filled out paperwork which was just protocol I guess, they didn't go out of their way to make me humiliated except for what I had already done to myself.
I am also worried about my spouse finding out. I am worried about this going public and anyone else I know finding out. I am so ashamed of myself. This happened because I was feeling pathetic and tired and stressed and like a loser, and now I feel worse. I don't know what came over me. It was such a lame thing to do, I feel like such a lame person. I was able to calm myself while they were filling out paperwork which seemed to take forever by planning my suicide should I be fully prosecuted. Then I could let my spouse know how bad a person I am and how ashamed I am and how sorry I am. It gave me such a sense of peace that it was weird. This whole experience has been so surreal. I was so ashamed in that office and felt so bad and so stressed that all I wanted to do was pass out and sleep right then and there.
The lamest thing is that I didn't really even want the scarf. I rarely wear one. It just felt soft and soothing, I guess. I had done stuff like this as a child (preteen) but not since, and was never caught. And it was cheap, and the difference between the pricetags was only $4, the original price only $7.99 with a discount on top of that. I only went in to return an item I bought the week prior that the spouse absolutely vetoed. I had a stressful emotional weekend, it was a crowded, busy day at the shop and that was making me feel kind of nervous and agitated, I was very tired, haven't had much sleep, I don't know what happened or what came over me. I wasn't even elated when I left the register before I was caught that I had gotten away with it. I was just feeling like a loser for spending all that time wandering in the shop for stuff I don't need -- a sort of weekly or every other weekly event for me.
I have a clean record, this has never happened to me before, I honestly never do this kind of thing, not since I was young, more than 20 years ago but I couldn't convince them of that, I felt like I looked like one of those women on Oprah who have a hidden life shoplifting even though they are wealthy and not being able to help it. But I've only had this one incident.
What is the court process like? Do I need a lawyer if I already pled guilty? I picture being grilled as in law dramas on TV, being broken down more than I already am. Or that this will be in a large courtroom in front of a lot of people like in traffice court. I am in WA state if that makes a difference. What is the worst sentence I could get for a first offence?
I don't know what to expect and feel so ashamed and alone.