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Lawdoctor
Lawdoctor, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1400
Experience:  Practiced criminal law in several states over a 22 year period, from misdemeanors to Death Penalty.
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Two days ago I was caught stealing a $5 shirt at JCPennys.

Resolved Question:

Two days ago I was caught stealing a $5 shirt at JCPenny's. This is a first time offense and the officer called it petty theft. I am an 18 year old Chico State student and have a court date the 26th. I want to know what is going to happen in the court and if I can get any advice.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 4 years ago.
Dear Customer:

Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your question.

Your question is very important to me, but please remember that I can only respond to the information you provide and I do not know your entire situation. My response is limited to what you have written to me and the answer may change with additional facts.

Also, due to site reasons, there are times I am initially only able to see a portion of post, so I apologize in advance if it means that you have to duplicate information.

There may be future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. Now, let’s address your question!

Your court date will consist of entering a plea of guilty or not-guilty. The prosecutor will probably offer you a deferment program which I would recommend that you take because once you complete the terms of the program the charges will be dropped and your record cleared (except for the arrest). If you do not take the offer you will move forward to trial and unless the judge states that he will not imposed any jail time if you are found guilty, you will be entitled to a Public Defender if you cannot afford an attorney. If you can afford a private attorney, I recommend that you contact them now so that they can assist you on the 26th.

I wish you the best.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was not arrested for the theft. The officer gave me a ticket and gave me a court date. On the ticket it says the violation code and section is 434(a),488,490.5. While in the Lost Prevention office the lady had me sign a paper saying I admit to the theft. After given the ticket and returning the $5 shirt they let me go. Should I plea guilty in the court room and if I do what do you think is going to happen?
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information, but my previous answer still stands the same-- , you were technically arrested, just not booked. You will probably be offered the deferment program and take it. If you are not certain always plea not guilty and ask for a public defender. But you will be offered a deferment and I would suggest that you take it since you signed a 'confession' with JCP.

Watch what happens in the courtroom with other people and you can gage what is going to happen with your case. Make sure you dress very conservatively as if you were going to meet the President - in otherwise, a suit or at least shirt and tie if you are a man, a suit if you are woman. Take out your pericings, cover tattoos, as a matter of fact, you should show no skin except your neck, head, wrists and hands. Everything else should be covered with clothing. I know that may not be how you want to dress but you are not dressing for you but to show respect and courtesy to the Judge and the court. You need to make a good impression and this is one of the ways you do so. Also make sure you show up with plenty of time to get through security and get to the courtroom, so plan to arrive at least 90 minutes before your court time.

Be courteous and polite to everyone because you never know who they may be!

Don't worry too much about this, it is minor, just do this and you should come out okay.

I wish you the best.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be off line. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So being offered the deferment program is the same as pleading guilty? Or if I plea guilty that is what will come with it?
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 4 years ago.
It depends on the Judge. Most courts require you to plead guilty in order to enter the defered program and once you complete the terms, the case is dismissed. If the court allows you to plead nolo contendre, then do so that is 'throwing your self on the mercy of the court'.

If you complete the program then you have a dismissal and no conviction. If you fail the program you have a conviction. Your only other choice is to plead not guilty and take the case to trial.

I wish you the best.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If I throw myself onto the mercy of the court what does that mean?
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 4 years ago.
You throw your self on the mercy of the court, you do not plead guilty or not guilty. You leave it up to the court to find you guilty or not guilty, you technically do not offer a plea.. however, for the program most courts will not take a nolo plea, they make you plead guilty in order to qualify for the program, the reward is that if you are good and complete the program, the case is dismissed and it is over and done.


This is very simple. I know you are scared and you should be. Maybe this little thing will keep you from making a bigger mistake with much more serious consequences. I hope so for your sake.

Please re-read my previous posts and if you still are not comfortable about the situation you need to call and hire a criminal lawyer to represent you in court for your hearing.

I wish you the best.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How would I go about getting a public defender. I am an college student with little to no income and need help on finding defender.
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 4 years ago.
Ask for one at the hearing, that is the first time you can ask for one.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then please feel free to ask for clarification.
If I don’t’ answer immediately, I may be offline. If so, I will answer as soon as I come back. If I am online, I may be assisting someone else and will respond as soon as I can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please remember that we have not created an attorney-client relationship, and that my post is not intended to be specific legal advice. The answers given are limited to the information you have provided in your post. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the complexities of most legal problems cannot be adequately addressed in this setting, and that I am only licensed to practice law in the states of Florida and Mississippi. Accordingly, you acknowledge (1) that we have not formed an attorney-client relationship, and (2) that my post is general information only and not specific legal advice.

Lawdoctor, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1400
Experience: Practiced criminal law in several states over a 22 year period, from misdemeanors to Death Penalty.
Lawdoctor and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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