How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask N Cal Attorney Your Own Question

N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 8155
Experience:  Since 1983
9653905
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
N Cal Attorney is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I got caught shoplifting in Tennessee 3 months ago. Im 38

Customer Question

I got caught shoplifting in Tennessee 3 months ago. I'm 38 and own my own business and while like everything, business is down, not down enough to shoplift a $16.00 ink cartridge, but I had a few drinks, left my money at home,and I live on a lake 20 minutes from walmart, and honestly i did not want to go home and come back, because i had some work related documents to print, with no ink, anyway I took it. STUPID! I went to my pre trial and the judge set my hearing for Febuary 5th, well for some strange reason I wrote it in my planner for the 16th. I have a biz in N.C too and I was there for two weeks. I sat down tonight to write some questions for a lawyer and search in the book for one and i saw the court paper and to my sock, court is tomorrow!WHAT DO i DO? My friend said I might not need a lawyer? There is no way to hire one now because i'm not prepared financially and court is in 9 hours. I'm scared to go in lawyer-less and go to jail. I need options! Can I do this on my own? HELP
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
Do not worry, if tomorrow is your first court appearance you can handle it without an attorney. Enter a plea of not guilty and tell the Judge that yuo want time to consult an attorney about how to handle this.

Nothing major will happen at the first court appearance. They will read the charges and ask you to enter a plea. You can ask the court to appoint an attorney to assist you if you cannot afford a private attorney.

If you tell me your location I can look for local criminal defense attorneys who offer a free consultation. There is a fair chance the case can eventually be plea bargained in a way that will avoid you having a criminal record. I say that because this is a petty offence and a first offense. If you have never been charged with anything at your age, it is clear you are not a career criminal, just a person who made a poor decision.

Just be sure to arrive early for Court and dress appropriately and respectfully. You can tell the judge that you miscalendared the court date and that is why you have not yet spoken with an attorney.

I hope this informatin is helpful.
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry I answered that before the lower part of your post displayed here on the website.

If it is not the first appearance, please tell the court that you want to have an attorney try for a plea bargain. Usually the DA is much less likely to begotiate with unrepresented parties. You can ask the court for a continuance of at least 30 days to give you time to try to retain counsel. If they ask if oyu are willing to waive time, oyu will have to say yes if you want a continuance.
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 8155
Experience: Since 1983
N Cal Attorney and 6 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
If i go ahead and represent myself and just say guilty, just to get it over with so I dont have to worry for 30 more days what do you think will happen. I would think if i got it over with it wouldnt give them time to check me out and think about me coming in and asking for more time. Ive never seen anyone represent myself, but I think I can do it. I'm I just setting myself up. Do they look at that different if its me. Could I go early and make a deal myself. I just dont want to hang myself
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

If i go ahead and represent myself and just say guilty, just to get it over with so I dont have to worry for 30 more days what do you think will happen. I would think if i got it over with it wouldnt give them time to check me out and think about me coming in and asking for more time. Ive never seen anyone represent myself, but I think I can do it. I'm I just setting myself up. Do they look at that different if its me. Could I go early and make a deal myself. I just dont want to hang myself

 

Oh yea..What does waive time mean?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I don't know if you received my last reply. What does waive time mean? Also if I went ahead and represented myself, do you think I would get the same sentence. What is first offence shop lifting $18.00. Somebody said probation, some say 10 days in jail!?

i THINK I CAN DO IT i JUST NEED TO KNOW SOME KEY WORDS TO ASK FOR

Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 5 years ago.
You can try to make a plea bargain yourself but if no deal is offered you should plead not guilty to start.

Tennessee Code 39-14-104
(5) Class A Misdemeanor if the value of the services obtained is five hundred dollars ($500) or less, punishable by a maximum penalty of eleven months and twenty-nine days and a fine up to $2,500.00.

It could be anything from probation to 10 to 364 days. That is why you probably do not want to plead guilty and throw yourself on the mercy of the curt. The Court may have had a sleepless night and be in a bad mood and send you off for a year in County. Pleading guilty without a plea bargain or an indicated sentence is very risky.

I would enter a plea of not guilty and ask the court to appoint an attorney to assist in your defense. This charge is serious enough that you are entitled to a Court appointed attorney if you cannot afford a private attorney.

I can look for private attorneys in your area who offer a free consultation if you tell me that town or county the case was filed in.

I hope this information is helpful.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.