I want to preface this by saying that I have never been arrested, never been in trouble before. I usually go out of my way to avoid trouble. I guess I am not sure about how this whole thing works, so I need advice.
My apartment is right next to my university's international education center. As a shortcut I usually walk through the parking garage of the center to get to my building, since its much quicker that way (most of the people that live in my building are university students. Last night when I was walking home, I noticed in the garbage dumpster of the international education center that there was a whole bunch of chairs that were being thrown away. I wouldn't say I am a hippie or anything, but i hated the thought of all those chairs just sitting in a landfill somewhere when not all of them were broken. I am a constant recycler, I hate the idea of things being thrown away that could still be of good use. So i pulled one of the chairs out, dusted it off, and proceeded to carry it home.
On my way to by building I got stopped by a patrol officer who immediately calls for backup. They soon handcuff me and tell me they are charging me with petty theft. I had no idea that taking the chair from the dumpster was even remotely bad, let alone bad enough to get me arrested. I genuinly thought that once he saw where I got it from, he would think nothing more of it.
I guess luckily I wasn't taken to the station, but instead issued with a "notice to appear" in court. Now I want to say that I don't mind paying fines, or writing formal apology letters to anyone I may have ever offended. I I thought for one second that I was stealing, I never would have even touched that chair. My worry is that it will create problems for me later on down the line, when I am applying for a job, especially since I am applying for work abroad teaching.
Thoughts? Advice? I would appreciate anything that anyone here has to offer for my situation.