Since you have no money for hiring an attorney, ask the court
to appoint a public defender. Public defenders are experienced criminal
defense attorneys paid for by the courts and given to defendants free of charge.
Many people do not realize that public defenders are actually licensed attorneys. Nor do they realize that many public defenders have extremely good trial records. If you stole enough to be charged with a crime that could end up with a jail sentence
, then you are entitled to a public defender, and you should request that one be appointed.
Be sure that you do not miss a court date. This is extremely important as a bench warrant for a more minor crime can end up causing you more legal problems than the original crime itself.
Since this is your first offense, it is highly unlikely that this will result in anything more than a fine. If you get an appointed attorney, you can ask about any local diversion program which might result in no actual criminal record
. If that is offered, that would be best for your long-term future. As a college student with a future, you do not want your employability to be limited by a criminal conviction.
If no diversion programs are offered, perhaps your attorney can convince the prosecution to dismiss the case.
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