graduated nursing school with an ADN. Then got charged with shoplifting. is my life over?

  1. I graduated an ADN program in Maryland and moved to MN to be with my significant other. We are in a long distance relationship for a while. While he was at work I went to Walmart and opened a box and put a food processor worth 20 dollars inside my purse. Then I went and bought some stamps and groceries. When I was outside the door, the guy stopped me and introduced himself as a loss prevention. He asked for my ID. I was so scared and numb I told him I didn't have any (but I did it was inside my purse) and gave him a false name. He then told me to take everything outside my purse and said I have to follow policy and call the police. I waited over 30 minutes for the police to come. When they came, they had a computer with them to search my name. Nothing came up and they gave me another chance to give them my real name. I finally broke down and gave them my real name. I still didn't show them my driver license because my mind was literally scrambled. They found me in the system and decided to take me down to a station to book and fingerprint me. When they did the search at the station and found my driver license, the cops said your life woulda been easier if you showed them that. My license is still from Maryland. The booking and fingerprinting took over 3 hours. I got a citation and a court date in April. This happened to me 2 weeks ago and non-stop, I have been dwelling and depress over this matter. I spoke to two lawyers where they said the same thing. Get me on probation for a year then the charges will be dismissed and then expungment after which takes 5 months to process. No one is going to hire a nurse who has a theft charge on their record. I am scheduled to take the NCLEX in MARCH 6th and I havent' been studying for it due to fact of I cannot stop crying about this. The lawyers had told me during the free consulation that I do not have to report it to the BON because my record was clean when I applied it happened after I applied. This is my first offense. What is killing me is I read Walmart doesnt prosecute or call the police if the item stolen was under 25$. They will send me civil demand and forget about me. If I did not freak out and lie about not having an ID, I wouldn't be in this much trouble. I am truly sorry for everything I did and never going to shoplift ever. The city I am charged in does not have a diversion program, but the cities around does. I cry to my boyfriend everyday about it and I can tell its bringing him down. please I am trying to start a family with him and with this happening. even i did get this expunged, hospitals and clinics do live scan, so i cant really hide it. My career as a nurse ended before it could even began. I think about killing or cutting myself everyday, but the idea of hurting my family and boyfriend even more is stopping me. I need some hope; please share any stories that relates to nursing/theft charges/conviction.
    •  
  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    No, your life is not over, but you've probably created a good amount of hardship for yourself. When it comes to shoplifting and nursing, the best outcomes involve "youthful indiscretions" that occurred in the distant past. I would seek out a lawyer that specializes in BON issues if I were in your position. Your current lawyer's advice to hide your crime does not sound reliable to me.
  4. by   Horseshoe
    A few thoughts:

    Please do not under any circumstances "start a family" with this man at this time. You are not where you need to be in order to care for a very vulnerable little human. Don't do that to the child. It's not his/her responsibility to give your life purpose so you can forget about your problems, and will only result in pain and suffering.

    Get counseling to figure out why you felt compelled to do something so foolish as to steal something that didn't belong to you, and then compound your problems by lying to police. There must be some reason for your self destructive and unethical behavior. Get to the root of the problem, and you improve your chances of never repeating such behavior in the future.

    Get an honest, ethical lawyer familiar with nursing issues and follow her advice. Do what she suggests, quit crying, and start studying. There are many nurses who have made legal mistakes, and they were able to recover. Take the NCLEX, bat it out of the ball park, and get your license, even if it has restrictions on it. You've worked hard to get this far; don't walk away from it over one incident of bad choices.

    Stop sobbing to your bf. This kind of behavior is not conducive to fostering a healthy relationship. He's going to lose respect for you, and it all goes downhill from there. Take responsibility for addressing your mental health/behavioral issues, find your strength, and he will be proud of you and how far you've come.

    Don't let this derail your life. It is recoverable. If you truly are feeling suicidal, DO SEEK HELP immediately.

    Good luck. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
    Last edit by Horseshoe on Feb 6
  5. by   Horseshoe
    All Nurses has a forum entirely devoted to nursing with a criminal record. Check it out!

    http://allnurses.com/nursing-licensure-criminal/
  6. by   misspleasehelpme
    Thanks for your replies. I am trying my hardest to study and get pass this mistake. But when the idea of never finding a job and this following me forever, it breaks me. I can't even find a cashier job or something related to retail because of this. I am calling the suicide hotline today. March is when I test and April is when I go to court. I'll tell you how it goes. Any other suggestions/stories to help the way I feel?
  7. by   Mavrick
    Yes, OP you have made some bad choices and have learned they have consequences. Speaking for myself, I have made some stupid mistakes, suffered the consequences and survived by changing my behavior. Most people don't know and I won't go into it here.

    I suggest you take the high road and start getting honest with yourself and the legal system. Getting a lawyer familiar with BON issues is excellent advice. Fair or not, nurses are held to a higher standard than ordinary mortals. So grab those big girl panties and be the adult you are expected to be.

    You can move forward, get a good job and have a fine career. All is NOT lost so don't throw all your hard work down the rat hole.

    This is a hard way to start out but hopefully you have learned so much so soon you will be the shining example of coming out the other side be able to give back the good advice you have gotten here.
  8. by   dchicurn
    Hey sweet girl!!! I'm just here to tell you that this incident will end up being a bump in the road in your rear view mirror. I am not downplaying what you've done but we all make mistakes. This IS recoverable. If you can make it through nursing school you can get through this. You just keep on walking forward. God's got this and He's got you. He has made a plan for your life and it is worth living. Keep your head up as best you can and lean on Him when you feel you can't. I am praying for you and you're going to do great on NCLEX!!! Best of luck to you!!! Your sister in Christ, Helen
  9. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from dchicurn
    He has made a plan for your life and it is worth living.
    Why make the assumption that God wants her to be a nurse. For all you know, this may be his way of changing His plan for her life. Why do people always assume that their plan is the one God has for them?
  10. by   Meriwhen
    What's done is done...

    Before I continue any further: if you are feeling suicidal or otherwise unsafe, you need to get psychiatric help immediately. Call your psychiatrist for an appointment; if you don't have one or can't get seen ASAP, call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

    First, just because someone posted online that Walmart won't do this or that doesn't mean that Walmart is contractually bound not to do this and that. If Walmart wants to prosecute, even if it's for $4, they have the right to do that at any time. The fact is that you have a court date, so charges are being pressed. Accept that.

    Second, get a lawyer that has experience in dealing with BONs and knows the ins and outs. And LISTEN to their advice. You can find some here: TAANA Executive Office - Home. No, a lawyer won't be able to undo your bad decisions and magically make it all your troubles go away...but a lawyer could help mitigate the damage.

    Third, keep studying for the NCLEX. As long as you have a scheduled test date, presume that you are taking the test on that date until the BON says otherwise.

    Fourth, stay positive. A lot of nurses with criminal records go on to get licensed and have nursing careers. The odds are decent that you will be one of them. You may have some limitations as to where you'll be hired--depends on how employers feel about theft convictions.

    Fifth, I'd postpone any big life decisions: marriage, procreation, etc., until you get this sorted out. The last thing you need is to be dealing with this and then find out you're pregnant, or trying to plan a wedding with money that you should really be putting towards your lawyer's fees.

    And last...stop shoplifting. Courts--and BONs--don't look favorably upon repeat offenders. A repeat performance is more likely to stop your nursing career than an one-time incident.

    Best of luck.
  11. by   KCMnurse
    If you are scheduled to test in March focus on that so you can pass the first time. Unless you hear otherwise from the BON you are still eligible to test. Now your license may not be immediately issued, but you know it is coming. Lawyer up, listen to their advice and get yourself some mental health counseling. This too will pass, right now you need to take things one day at a time - you will get through this.
  12. by   pastc06
    Is your charge a misdemeanor or a violation??? Hopefully its a criminal violation , reason being , a criminal violation is not the same because you don't end up with a criminal record. By the way, if you have never been arrested before and its your first offense you qualify for a A.C.O.D. Adjournment contemplation of dismissal. Everyone is entitled to at least one A.C.O.D. in their lifetime for minor offenses like yours. I'm sharing this with you to cheer you up!!!! It sucks that you did that but it happened for a good reason. Its something you can and will overcome, just keep your head on, life is much more valuable than a $20.00 Walmart coffee machine, you are more important than court or legal trouble, accept what you did and toughen up. Get online and research what I shared about the A.C.O.D. and know exactly what you are charged with and see what level it is, Violation or misdemeanor. A attorney will likely prey on you fear and ignorance in order to extract as much money from you as possible while coming across as your savior, so become educated, use a local law library, use the web and learn the topic yourself . I repeat attorneys capitalize on people in your situation, period, case closed, so strengthen yourself with facts......................

    That said regarding your situation, in case its a misdemeanor, it will easily be plea bargained down to a violation and you will NOT have a criminal record. Its your first ( and last) offense, don't sweat so hard.
  13. by   dchicurn
    Quote from Guy in Babyland
    Why make the assumption that God wants her to be a nurse. For all you know, this may be his way of changing His plan for her life. Why do people always assume that their plan is the one God has for them?
    I did not make that assumption, you did. I simply stated 'God has made a plan for your life'. I suppose if she passes boards it was meant to be. Do you think the way things play out is His will being executed or not? Do you really think you can do anything or control anything beyond what He allows?
  14. by   Smacpherson
    "Why make the assumption that God wants her to be a nurse. For all you know, this may be his way of changing his plan for her life. Why do people always assume that their plan is the one God has for her life?"

    First of all, she made the decision to do what she did, God didn't twist her arm and force her to do it because nursing isn't his will for her. Therefore how could this be any part of his plan for her life?

    Secondly, God can redeem any situation in our lives, bringing beauty from ashes.

close