I am 37 and caught shoplifting in a local grocery store. Stupid move on my part. My kids needed to eat and my husband doesn't make enough for the bills but that is not a reason to steal. I am never doing it again. This was my first offense. The cops let me drive me and my 10 month old to the police station and finger printed me and took my picture and told me I would get my court date letter in the mail. The one cop also said that he would talk to the judge and try to help me. Gave me some information on assistance for food. I also have a 7 year old. I live in NJ. According to the internet I should get a fine and community service. What kind of community service do they give? What will I do with my daughter? What kind of job will I get after this? I have been looking for night work but haven't been succcessful. I can't afford a lawyer, how do I and when do I get a public defender. My husband thinks I should just go in and plede guilty and get my punishment. What do you think about going in without a lawyer. I wanted to go back to school and get a degree in medical billing or nurses aid, will I still be able to get work in a hospital after this? Will it be in the newspaper? I know you won't be able to ask all my questions, but I am so confused, depressed and ashamed... I don't want my kids to become a laughing stock... I love them and I felt horrible I did what I did. What kind of mother am I? Apparently not a good one... :confused: :confused: :( :( How long will it show up on background checks.. how do I find out about a diversion.

I have had a bad year.. birth of my daughter.. 2 surgeris (gallbladder and liver), bills I can't pay, 3 mortgages on my house (one because our business failed 2 years ago), claimed bankruptcy 2 years ago, husband almost left me a year ago, I got pregnant when my daughter was not even 2 months old and I had to get an abortion, my husband, sister and mom convinced me it was the right thing to do cause we didn't know what the tumer was on my liver.. I am a stay at home mom right now and my life just keeps getting suckier everyday... sorry you guys are the only ones I have to talk to. My husband doesn't want me to tell anyone.

Please help, anyone with any advice..