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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 112775
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Please Help Me I Really Screwed Up!!! Two weeks ago I downed

Customer Question

Please Help Me – I Really Screwed Up!!!   Two weeks ago I downed over three quarters of an old 1000ml bottle of vodka prior to entering a grocery store for a gallon of milk. I paid for the milk but had cheese and season salt in my coat pockets. I was escorted into security. They called the police and arrested me for theft valued at $59.07. Police released me with a summons to appear. The store also had me sign a paper that listed the items, but I couldn't read what it said. I barely remember trying to sign it. I Drank to escape as I had been off my medications for several weeks. (No job = No $ = No meds & No Lawyer) Meds are 60mg Paxil & 3mg Klonopin. I'm back on meds now.   (Wife's Meds >$1500 monthly)   QUESTIONS: Is it theft if I never left the store? If whatever I signed says I am admitting to guilt is it admissible given my intoxication? I've also read about a divergence too. I appear tomorrow. Any and all help would is so appreciated.        THANKS from Stupid101
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
As a defendant in a criminal case, pursuant to your rights under the US Constitution, no job=no $= free court appointed attorney and you need to get one through the public defender's office.

Voluntary intoxication is no defense to any crime. However, if you can prove you had no way of understanding what you signed, thus it is ground to throw out any statements, this is a good strategy. Also, as a first offender it is quite possible that you would get a deferred sentence which would be probation and some type of counselling and then after you complete the probation the charges could be dismissed or expunged.


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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX was regarding theft. I had placed the cheese and season salt in my coat pockets. I did pay for the gallon of milk. I was then detained after leaving the register but prior to leaving the store. I was only a few feet from the register when Security (or Management) asked me to follow them to the security office. Am I guilty of theft? or is this intent or something else that I should have been charged for instead.

 

Thanks again,

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Sorry, yes, it is theft. The fact that you never left the store is irrelevant. The fact that you had the items concealed in your pockets and you actually paid for the milk is the intent necessary for the theft. Stores do not have to wait for a person to leave the premises to prove theft, it is based upon the actions of the perpetrator, such as concealing the items in your pockets and actually, even if you had second thoughts and put the items down, it is the intent at the time you picked up the items that matters. Now, although voluntary intoxication is no defense, you can argue your intent was to pay for the items but merely forgot about them, however these arguments are usually weak, but worth making.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your advice and information. I accepted so you get paid. Will you answer me this?: Tomorrow morning is my appearance. Should I ask for a public defender when called before the judge? or later and would you suggest I plead not guilty and see if they show up to prove the case against me? This is all new territory for me.

 

Thanks again

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your advice and information. I accepted so you get paid. Will you answer me this?: Tomorrow morning is my appearance. Should I ask for a public defender when called before the judge or when? and/or would you suggest I plead not guilty and see if they show up to prove the case against me? This is all new territory for me.

 

Thanks again

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
You should ask for an appointed attorney before you do anything but plead not guilty. You need to tell the judge that you do not know the process and would like to meet with a public defender. Also, if you go to court early, you can go into the Public Defender's office and speak with them before court.