It depends

Today I am answering the following question from a juvenile in Tallahassee, Florida. She says:

"I'm being charged with grand theft in the 3rd degree from Walmart for $311 worth of food items. Its supposedly seen on camera. This is first offense. What is the most likely outcome?"

The shortest answer is, "it depends!" Every case is unique and will depend on the specific evidence and facts of the case. In general, most prosecutors in Florida may offer some kind of Pre-Trial Diversion program to a juvenile who is charged with a first offense that is non-violent. Pre-Trial Diversion (or PTD) is a program where if the person completes everything they are supposed to do then the charges get dropped. For juveniles, this might include participation in Teen Court, counseling, community service, and drug testing. However, there is no guarantee that a prosecutor will necessarily offer PTD in any given case. Nonetheless, a first time offense for shoplifting, even at a felony level, will not add many points on a Risk Assessment and so it is very unlikely that such a person would be sent off to a Juvenile Commitment Program, which is really just a nicer way of saying a Juvenile Jail.

Regardless of these typical offers, your attorney may review the case and determine it is a better option to fight the case. You get to decide whether to accept an offer from the State or to fight your case through trial so you have some control over the outcome of your case.

Take this case seriously and hire an attorney.