Innocent and Facing Charges That Would Have Ruined My Life
Before I tell you what might happen to you, I need to make some assumptions. Assumption #1: This is your first criminal offense. Assumption #2: You are only alleged to have taken items from one store - not multiple stores. [For people who are facing a Petit Larceny charge after already having been convicted previously, or for people with multiple pending Petit Larceny charges, I can still answer the question, but it would be easier to do so over the phone or in person. Please call the law office at (585) 485-0025 to discuss your case in detail.]
Beginning with those assumptions, I have multiple answers for you: If you are caught shoplifting at Pittsford Plaza, Marketplace Mall, or other locations in Monroe County: You will likely be granted an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal, or perhaps a non-criminal plea to something like Disorderly Conduct. As a condition of either offer you will likely have to perform community service. The number of hours is typically decided through conversations between your attorney and the local prosecutor. Monroe County has a community service coordinator who can set up your service, and who will report back to the Court once you have completed it. If you have a particular not-for-profit agency where you want to volunteer, it can usually be arranged through the Court and without the Community Service Coordinator. At least one of the judges in Henrietta Town Court has expressed a preference that community service be performed locally, so if you are a college student leaving for the summer, we need to discuss the logistics of getting that done.
If you are caught shoplifting at Eastview Mall or other Ontario County Locations: ACDs are rarely given in Ontario County, and certainly not without a very good reason. A simple Petit Larceny charge in Victor, NY is often charged as multiple crimes (possession of burglar tools, possession of stolen property, criminal mischief), and each of them needs to be resolved. Plea offers often involve jail weekends, a lot of community service (100 hours or more), counseling, sometimes interim probation, and then a reduction to the non-criminal offense of Disorderly Conduct.
If you are caught shoplifting in Geneseo or other locations in Livingston County: In exchange for a reduction, a person charged with Petit Larceny will likely have to complete community service. Community service is no longer overseen by the Sheriff, so you need to arrange for service at a local not-for-profit. Cemeteries often look for clean-up assistance in the spring, Goodwill accepts volunteers, and churches are also an option (but some judges won't let you do it at a church you attend, "No double-dipping," they say). If you find yourself charged with shoplifting, please call The Militello Law Firm for a free telephone consultation and case evaluation. Our phone number is (585) 485-0025.