Criminal Law

questions & answers

Question: I have a court date for shoplifting 34 dollars from a Safeway and have no use what to expect. I have no priors, and this was just a lapse in judgment, even a mistake. Can I ask for a divergent program myself in order not to have this go on my record, or do I have to give a plea? I'm embarrassed, ashamed, nervous and scared. I don't want to say the wrong thing, and i have no idea what's going to happen. Please advise

Answer: According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1805.G "G. In imposing sentence on a person who is convicted of violating this section, the court may require any person to perform public services designated by the court in addition to or in lieu of any fine that the court might impose." If you are NOT convicted nothing will show on your record besides the arrest. Arrests are public record. However, if convicted you would need to request have the "guilt set aside." Here is more information on this process. Arizona Revised Statutue 13-907 reads... ARS 13-907. Setting aside judgment of convicted person on discharge; application; release from disabilities; exceptions A. Except as provided in subsection D of this section, every person convicted of a criminal offense, on fulfillment of the conditions of probation or sentence and discharge by the court, may apply to the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate who pronounced sentence or imposed probation or such judge, justice of the peace or magistrate's successor in office to have the judgment of guilt set aside. The convicted person shall be informed of this right at the time of discharge. B. The convicted person or, if authorized in writing, the convicted person's attorney or probation officer may apply to set aside the judgment. C. If the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate grants the application, the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate shall set aside the judgment of guilt, dismiss the accusations or information and order that the person be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction except those imposed by: 1. The department of transportation pursuant to section 28-3304, 28-3306, 28-3307, 28-3308 or 28-3319, except that the conviction may be used as a conviction if the conviction would be admissible had it not been set aside and may be pleaded and proved in any subsequent prosecution of such person by the state or any of its subdivisions for any offense or used by the department of transportation in enforcing section 28-3304, 28-3306, 28-3307, 28-3308 or 28-3319 as if the judgment of guilt had not been set aside. 2. The game and fish commission pursuant to section 17-314 or 17-340. D. This section does not apply to a person who was convicted of a criminal offense: 1. Involving a dangerous offense. 2. For which the person is required or ordered by the court to register pursuant to section 13-3821. 3. For which there has been a finding of sexual motivation pursuant to section 13-118. 4. In which the victim is a minor under fifteen years of age. 5. In violation of section 28-3473, any local ordinance relating to stopping, standing or operation of a vehicle or title 28, chapter 3, except a violation of section 28-693 or any local ordinance relating to the same subject matter as section 28-693. Basically what that means is if you are convicted, after you have completed all court imposed punishments, you may apply (with the same Judge) to have you conviction set aside.

QUESTIONS

  • I have a court date for shoplifting 34 dollars from a Safeway and have no use what to expect. I have no priors, and this was just a lapse in judgment, even a mistake. Can I ask for a divergent program myself in order not to have this go on my record, or do I have to give a plea? I'm embarrassed, ashamed, nervous and scared. I don't want to say the wrong thing, and i have no idea what's going to happen. Please advise

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