Question Details:I would like to know what are some of the instances in which a first offense misdemeanor larceny charge can be dismissed? Also, how much bearing does a letter of remorse have on the sentencing/dismissal of a first offender misdemeanor larceny of a shirt valued at $36.
You may be eligible for a deferral, depending on the DA who is in the courtroom when you are called. Through your attorney, you agree to pay back what you took before the next court date. If you do so, then the DA will dismiss the case. If you don't, you'll be convicted.
I work in Wake County, and deferrals are sometimes offered.
Frequently, however, the victim never shows up in these cases. For instance, if the shirt was stolen from a store, the store never sends a witness, and so you may not have to do anything at all, except show up three times while the state continues the matter, hoping the store will send someone. On the last continuance, your attorney asks for a dismissal, and if the state still can't produce a witness, the case is dismissed.
I wouldn't send any letters of remorse etc. without first talking to an attorney.
A first time-offender typically qualifies for "diversion" or your state's equivalent. Through this procedure you can plead guilty to the charge and then serve probation. If successfully completed, your case will be dismissed and your plea thrown out. This will leave you with either no criminal record or at least the ability to later expunge (ie clear) your record.
Right now I would speak to an attorney in the immediate area where all of this occurred. They can best use their local contacts to your fullest benefit and explain all of the above more fully to you. Anytime criminal charges are involved it is always advisable to have legal counsel. There is always a possibility of having the charge dismissed on a technicality or at least reduced. Also, writing a letter of the type that you proposed might a good idea. Speak to your lawyer about this.