Theft Crimes and other related Offenses
Overview: The surest way to destroy any future employment opportunities is to be convicted of any crime that alleges dishonesty. Some of the crimes that allege dishonesty are shoplifting, writing a bad check, theft, burglary and forgery. Even if the charge is classified as a misdemeanor, a conviction will kill a job applicant’s chances of getting hired for any meaningful job.
What can an attorney do for you? Often, if it is your first arrest, your attorney may speak with the prosecutor about getting you accepted into a Pre-trial Diversion program. The way it works is like this: Your attorney petitions the court for your acceptance into Pre-trial Diversion. The prosecution must also agree to your acceptance, and most of the time the victim will have to agree to your acceptance.
If accepted, you’ll be asked to pay an entrance fee, complete a specific number of community service hours, pay back the victim for anything you owe, and be on good behavior for a set period of time, usually at least 12 months. Once the probationary period is successfully completed, the state will dismiss the case against you.
What if I don’t get Pre-trial Diversion: If it is your first arrest, you are eligible to be treated as a first-time offender. You only get one chance to keep your record clean. If the court accepts your first offender plea, you will be sentenced to a period of probation, which in some cases may involve some jail time if the theft crime is a very serious theft crime like residential burglary. You will also likely receive a fine, community service and restitution.
If you successfully complete the period of probation without any problems, then the court will enter an order finding you “NOT GUILTY.” The down side of first offender treatment is if you don’t successfully complete the sentence, then the court can re-sentence you impose the maximum sentence allowed by law.