The National Trial Lawyers
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Good News for Petit Theft First Offenders

I want to talk to you first offenders about shoplifting and petit theft, just spread a bit of good cheer about this situation. And, that is, we can get a first offense dismissed.

Now, i’m putting a little asterisk near this because a first offense shoplifting / petit theft is subject to what I call the Petit Theft Nightmare. And, I address that in another video.

Good News for Petit Theft First OffendersBut, let’s put that aside and tell you the good news.

The good news is, you have lots of options to get thing dismissed. And, its a petit theft, you want this thing dismissed.

Here’s how we do it.

Normally, we do what we call “diversion”. Every county calls diversion something different. It could be called Pretrial Diversion or the County Diversion Program. Whether you call it PTD or CDP–makes no difference.

I’ll just tell you what it is: its a program, you pay a couple hundred dollars to get into the program.

Your attorney gets you into the program.

And, you do some community service, you do the anti-theft or impulse control class.

That’s an 8 hour class telling you “not to steal”, they’ll do that on a Saturday, 9 to 5, or sometimes they’ll break that 8 hour class up during the week on a Tuesday and Thursday night.

However you do the class, however you do the community service–the case goes away.

And, its a beautiful thing.

There are some situations where maybe you pissed off loss prevention and the store–your Kohl’s, your Target, your walmarts–they can veto diversion.

And therefore, you can’t get dismissal. Right? Wrong.

I had a client, just for example, I had a client–she was a jerk to loss prevention.

But, they were a real jerk to her.

She had to go to the bathroom when they grabbed her, you know when they grabber her by the arm.

“Mam, you gotta come back in the room with me”.

First of all, they never should have touched her, but they always do.

She went back in the room “Look I have to go to the bathroom”. They would not let her use the restroom for hours and hours and she urinated all over herself.

She just had a lot in her. And it was super embarrassing.


What made it worse is loss prevention called in their buddies to sort of enhance the embarrassment so that they could laugh about it too.

These are not nice people all the time.

And so my client, rightfully so, was not nice back to them. So we get to court and they’re like “hell no, you’re not getting diversion, your gal was not very nice.”

Then after explaining why, they still wouldn’t grant us diversion. Well, we pissed off a lot of people because we used “Option #2”.

Option #2 is “I don’t care that the prosecutor won’t let you in, and I don’t care that Walmart or Kohl’s doesn’t want you to get dismissal” — we can still work this, its called Pretrial Intervention.

And pretrial intervention is simple program and its designed to go straight to the judge and bypass everybody else’s objection.

But the added cost is you’ve got to do some drug treatment. Usually, 8 to 12 weeks of outpatient treatment. No big deal.

Still, it leads to dismissal.

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