My question involves criminal law for the state of: Montana, I am 18 years of age, I know what I did was wrong and I have learned from my mistakes but there is nothing I can do about what has already happened.
Last night me and my friends thought it would be a good idea to steal some beer from a supermarket for a party we were invited to (I know, we're stupid). Me, and one other kid went inside while everyone else waited in the car by the front door. I grabbed two thirty racks of beer (approximately $50) and he grabbed one. We walked out casually then we noticed that an employee had starting chasing us so we jumped in the car and peeled out while he was yelling at us to get back inside. After about an hour we found out the party was actually cancelled so I just asked for a ride home, I took the two thirty racks with me and went to bed. When my friends were driving back into town they got pulled over by a police officer because the supermarket called in the license plates. They were all breathalyzed and all of them were above the legal limit for people under the age of 21. The officer knew what had happened and my one friend confessed that he was the one that actually stole the case, he was put in handcuffs and had to sit in the back of the cop car and he got a theft charge and a Minor in Possession citation. He panicked when the officer asked him who the other person was that stole the cases and he gave him my name but nothing else. The weird thing is is that no one else got an MIP or DUI even though they clearly should have. The officer mentioned to my friend that it would be a good idea if I turned myself in, otherwise there may be a warrant out for my arrest. I'm hoping the Police do not put in all the effort to actually try and find me. I don't plan on talking to the police and my intentions were to try and avoid this whole situation because I'm leaving the country in two weeks for a two week long period, then in August I'm moving about 8 hours away to attend College (in-state). I graduate in 5 days and I feel like the only way I am going to get caught is if they go to the High School and pull me out of class or something. If this happens my plan was to deny everything and request a lawyer. The officer also told my friends that they had a surveillance video but I'm pretty sure I kept my head down the entire time so it would be hard to identify me on camera.
So my questions are What's the best advice I could get to handle a situation like this and avoid any citations? If I get caught, will I just get a theft charge and not an MIP because they have no proof that I actually have the beer in my possession? Should I not go to school and avoid the chance that they will actually find me? What are the best things I can say if I am questioned about this? Should I tell my friends to act as if they forgot who was in the car? Do you think the cops will actually try and put in all the effort to find me?
I just really need advice because my parents would kill me if they found out what I did and I don't want to ruin any future job oppurtunities and tarnish my record.
Thanks a lot for any advice! Sorry that the story is so long.