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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Charged with theft of city utilities, electric (class A midemeanor).

Customer Question

Charged with theft of city utilities, electric (class A midemeanor). My friend did this with my consent what step should I take before my 1-25 court date. I should also mention none of this action was witnessed.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Customer

This is section 21-3704 of the KS statutes -- theft of services -- which is a Class A misdemeanor if the value is less than $1,000. A Kansas class A misdemeanor may result in a fine up to $2,500.00 and 1 year in jail.

Even though there are no witnesses to whatever diverting of electricity that occurred, that does not necessarily mean that you will walk away from this without a criminal record. There is an absolute right to a lawyer if you are a defendant in a criminal case because criminal matters, even if they look like no big deal can have lifetime consequences. So what you should do before your January 25th court date, if you can afford it, is to retain a criminal lawyer to advise you of all your rights and options. There are decisions you will have to make, and sometimes what seems quick and easy can be something you'll regret down the road. You should be fully informed so that you can act in your best interest.

If you are unable to hire a lawyer, you should plead not guilty at your arraignment and tell the judge that you lack the means to secure private representation and ask the court to appoint a public defense lawyer. Pleading not guilty keeps all of your rights open. If you decide once you're informed that you want to move the case to trial, you can do so. If you decide, on the other hand, to cut your losses and take a deal, you can withdraw your not guilty plea at that time and take advantage of the plea bargain.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the advice but I've already leaned this much fron the police chief and a legal secretary I know so I choose not to accept payment for the same advice...thanks anyway.

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