“I was caught shoplifting in Buffalo but I’m a First time offender with no record and I’m in high-school. Do you think they’ll drop the charges? The property was concealed in my bag and I tried to leave the store without going through the checkout.”

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First, if you are under 19 yrs old and do not have any prior Family Court adjudications, under New York law, you would likely fall into the mandatory youthful offender category. As a result, even if you were found guilty after a trial, a youthful offender adjudication would substitute for a criminal conviction. This is particularly significant because you could truthfully state that you have never been convicted of a crime.


On the other hand, a youthful offender adjudication is not perfect. Although you would be shielded from any criminal record, it is possible that you could have to serve some jail time. In the end, the more desirable result is the ACD or a possible plea to a violation level offense. That being said, an ACD is not a panica either. With certain crimes, an ACD could follow you in the future. In certain fields, government regulations consider participating in a diversionary program to be the equivalent of a conviction. In this case, it is possible that, if this sort of regulation applies to the job you are applying for, an ACD could be interpreted as a conviction for the offense.

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In terms of the violation possibility, which is the best outcome, the result will depend on how the prosecution views the case and your role. Certain relevant factors would include the value of the property and the way it was stolen. The Erie County DA will also likely consider whether this appears to be a lapse in judgement or part of a greater problem. Given your age and lack of criminal record, it seems more like a lapse in judgment. However, it’s important that your Buffalo Criminal Defense Attorney emphasizes such facts to portray you in the most accurate, positive light.

Another important factor here is your parents. It is possible that an Erie County judge may insist on your parents showing up. It is probably best for you to explain the situation to your parents. Parents generally understand that young people make mistakes.

I wish you the best of luck.

For more questions, contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Buffalo Ny today.

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