In some cases, such as misdemeanor theft by shoplifting, it is possible to have the case placed into pretrial diversion. Pretrial diversion is a program that is offered by the Gwinnett County Solicitor General’s Office for people who are charged with a first offense of misdemeanor theft by shoplifting.
Not every case is allowed into that, it depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the theft itself, but that is one possible way to resolve it without having to go to trial.
Essentially, the pretrial diversion program results in the dismissal of the charge if the person will complete certain steps, such as paying reimbursement, community services, or attending some classes.
Additionally if a person is charged with felony theft of some type, either theft by taking or theft by conversion, it may be possible to reduce any sentence by paying restitution to the victims and presenting that proof to the District Attorney’s Office.
The District Attorney’s Office in Gwinnett County does not have any pretrial diversion program, but it is sometimes possible to get a dismissal based on showing that the victims have been compensated.
The criminal defense lawyer who is representing someone charged with theft serves as the advocate for the person who is charged. That means he speaks on behalf of the person to the police, to the prosecuting attorney, and to the courts and attempts to get the best possible outcome for the client.
Sometimes that will be a dismissal of the charges; sometimes it would be a negotiated plea deal. But one of the things we do as criminal defense lawyers is not only to protect our clients but also to take some of the burden and worry off of them—so that they know someone is out there working for them, looking out for their best interest, and trying to take the burden off their shoulders.
One of the things that we can do as a defense attorney for a person charged with theft is to try to mitigate the situation by coordinating an effort to perhaps compensate the victims, negotiating with the District Attorney’s Office, and trying to find alternatives for trial and alternatives to actually serving any jail time.
It is very important that the client who is charged with theft feels confident in his attorneys and in his staff.
In my office I have a wonderful lady named Mary, and Mary handles all of my criminal cases as far as serving as liaison with my clients and keeping them informed. They reach out to her quite often if a crisis comes up and she is a stable and wonderful person who provides fantastically great customer service to my clients and I am very fortunate to have her.
But the bottom line is that the person charged with any sort of crime should feel confident in his lawyer, feel confident with the staff, and know that the attorney and his staff will have their back, and I think that is one of the things that we have been able to provide in any case.