QUESTION

Is a lawyer recomended if I was caught shoplifting and charged with a misdemeanor?

Asked on Feb 08th, 2011 on Criminal Law - California
More details to this question:
I have no previous record and was arrested for shoplifting. I was given a citation to appear in court in March. I also received a letter from the place to pay for items. I have paid but am not too sure what will be the outcome. I cannot afford to get an attorney but am interested to know if it is recommended to get an attorney.
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8 ANSWERS
Answered on Feb 17th, 2011 at 5:31 PM
If you don't have the money for an attorney get the public defender. they are fine on these little cases as they do them constantly. good luck.

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Answered on Feb 17th, 2011 at 5:10 PM
I recommend hiring an attorney to assist you in this matter. A petty theft charge is considered a crime of Moral Turpitude, and can not only have negative consequences from the Court, including excessive fines and possible jail time, but a conviction can have a long time effect on your job status, and your duty to answer questions about convictions when filling out job applications. I have been successful in getting petty theft charges dismissed, although I would have to speak to you in a bit more detail to give you an idea of how I could help you in your case. Call me if you would like to discuss in more detail. This would be a free consultation to discuss your case.

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Answered on Feb 12th, 2011 at 10:58 AM
Yes. A shoplifting charge, as petty as it is, with a maximum possible consequence of probation, up to a $1,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail (time off for good behavior, aka 'good time credits', pursuant to Penal Code section 4019), is still a crime of moral turpitude. You are unlikely to even be aware of the different, and lesser, possible outcomes of the case, much less to accomplish a far better disposition on your own. An Attorney can probably do that for you, and radically reduce the impact of the case upon your future.

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Answered on Feb 09th, 2011 at 4:13 PM
You have a constitutional right to an attorney in a criminal case. If you can't afford to hire an attorney, one will be appointed for you free of charge. You should definitely get an attorney. A criminal conviction of theft (even petty theft) is something to be avoided!

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Answered on Feb 08th, 2011 at 7:13 PM
Absolutely. Petty theft is a crime of moral turpitude, so it is something you don't want on your record if you can avoid it. An experienced attorney will use the fact that you have already paid restitution to your advantage when approaching the prosecutor to negotiate your case.

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Answered on Feb 08th, 2011 at 6:43 PM
You face a misdemeanor with jail time. Youve already made mistakes in handling this. You may have actually confessed through your payment and paperwork. You NEED an attorney. If you cant afford private counsel, then apply for the Public Defender. If you can, then contact me.

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Answered on Feb 08th, 2011 at 6:28 PM
You need an attorney.

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Answered on Feb 08th, 2011 at 6:13 PM
Yes, you are being charged with a crime you should hire an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney you should request the services of the public defender.

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