Another sports figure in trouble with the law. This time it is FSU quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston who was "cited" for shoplifting at Publix. This incident was allegedly captured on video. The quarterback later allegedly made a statement admitting that he made a mistake and was sorry for his actions.
What does it mean to be "cited"? Many people (usually those that are not Florida State fans) are wondering why he wasn't arrested and booked into the jail. The majority of the time a suspect is accused of shoplifting, they are NOT arrested, but instead are issued a "Notice to Appear" at a future court date. This is especially true if the person has no prior record and cooperates with the police. A "notice to Appear" is basically an order that the accused person appear at a future court date to answer to the criminal charge. If the person does not appear at this court date called an "Arraignment", a warrant will be issued for their arrest and the person will be arrested and booked into the jail.
This case will probably be resolved through a diversion program. A diversion program is often offered to 1st time offenders and results in the criminal charge being dropped as long as the defendant successfully completes the diversion program. The person does not enter a plea to the charge and is not put on probation. Usually there is a theft class to take, a fine, and some community service hours. If the charge is dropped, the person can expunge their record so that it erases the information from the clerk's website and "unarrests" the person. Being issued a "Notice to Appear" is in effect the same as being arrested.
Today, with the internet and background searches, it is very important that a person keeps their record clean and seals or expunges their arrest if they are eligible. An arrest, especially one involving a crime of dishonesty, can cause a person to lose their job or not be able to rent an apartment.
If you have been arrested it is very important that you call an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows about these diversion programs and how to keep your criminal record clean. The consultation is free so you do not have an excuse to call and get more information about your arrest!
CALL NOW AND SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER.
FREE OFFICE CONSULTATION
Thomas C. Grajek 863-688-4606
Polk County criminal defense lawyer handling all felony and misdemeanor theft cases including scheme to Defraud, Grand Theft,
Petit Theft, Petty Theft, and Shoplifting.