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Joseph
Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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Today i was cited for petty theft i had balloons in my purse

Customer Question

Today i was cited for petty theft i had balloons in my purse that were 1one dollar and something cents they stoped me before i left the store..it there a such thing as intent to steal rather than theft?_
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 years ago.

Hello.

 

Yes, there can be a distinction between them as 2 separate crimes -- for instance, if a person placed merchandise in their pocket and got all the way to the door of the store and saw security and then dumped the merchandise at the register area because he/she knew they would get caught, then that would be an intent to steal with the theft never completed. However, it really is extremely rare for anyone to be charged with an "intent" crime in the area of theft crimes. Usually you see these types of "intent" crimes charged in situations where there is a "conspiracy" among a few people to commit a crime and then the crime never actually takes place for one reason or another.

 

Please let me know if you have further questions.

 

GOOD LUCK

 

Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time.

 

THANK YOU

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok i think in thier shoes im guilty of a pety theft..so do i plead not guilty for the reason i was stoped and never actually went out the door to "complete theft" do i say i need an attoney?..and will that cost me money?...im a college student and dont want or have anything on my record..if i did plead guilty to pety theft because the price of the balloons was less than two dollars would the judge be able to give me a mistiminer charge?
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 years ago.

If you have no prior criminal record I suggest that you ask the prosecutor if you can perform community service and be put on a pre-trial probation -- and if you stay out of trouble until the date that the trial is scheduled, the prosecution may drop the charges and that may be able to keep your record clean. Obviously, it will be up to the prosecution whether or not they want to take this to a point where you receive a criminal record from it, but you may be able to get them to be lenient if you have not been in trouble before this. The law is such that in a retail store, the only thing that you have to do is conceal the item for a time -- even if you take it out at the register, they can still charge you with a completed theft (unless you take it out to pay for it). Petty theft is a misdemeanor charge anyway and there really should be no interest in throwing the book at you, but if it seems that they want to be nasty and throw the book at you, then I suggest you ask to plead not guilty and speak with a local criminal attorney to get some immediate advice regarding how to proceed from that point.

 

 

GOOD LUCK

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
how do i know if they will throw the book at me...the guys at the store didnt like me so they will prally do nothing in my favor but do u mean the judge..if the judge wants to give me something harsh then i can say i want to plead not guilty n get a lawyer...do u suggest i just plead guilty and take my "slap on the rist"...will askin for that probation thing make my offense less than a mistimeaner?
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 years ago.

THere is no offense less than a misdemeanor. You were charged with the lowest offense possible. You will know if the prosecutor wants to take this all the way when you speak with him/her and explain that you are a college student with no criminal record and ask if they could possibly arrange something so that you will not end up with a criminal record over this entire matter. If they agree to this, then you do not plead guilty or not guilty -- it is a "no contest" disposition of your case and if you do what you are supposed to do (such as community service, if ordered), then you will not have a record when completed. If they refuse to work with you and be lenient, then that is when you would tell them you are pleading not guilty and then they will continue the matter to another court date to give you time to speak with a criminal lawyer in your area.

 

I would appreciate it if you would press ACCEPT at this time.

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
can store security put thier hands on me arrest me threatin to taze me and handcuff me in the back without supervision of a female for a half an hour? all for taking dollar something balloons
Expert:  Legalease replied 4 years ago.

I am opting out and taking myself off of this question at this time. Your question will be referred to the open question list and another expert may pick it up or not -- they typically review the Q & A thread with the last expert and decide if they want to pick up the question. Since you have not pressed accept to pay me you can ask customer service for a refund of your deposit if you wish rather than continue with another expert.

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Can store security put thier hands on me life grab me by the arm, arrest me, threatin to taze me and handcuff me in the back stocking room without supervision of a female or anyone just the occasional male that was taking out the garbage less than 20ft away for possibly an hour or a half? All for having dollar something balloons in my purse..i never left the store and said i would pay. I got out of school at 12:35pm went to this store and got there no later than 1:00pm I was there at least an hour because the sheriff didnt write me up until "1423pm" or 2:23pm( i believe).. when the sheriff got there they moved me out of the stock room they had me handcuffed in and into a different room.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
could i plead no contest to a case and what exactly would that mean?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

Security can take reasonable measures to detain you until law enforcement arrives. What constitutes "reasonable" is subject to interpretation but they are able to "put their hands" on you.

 

Yes, you may enter a plea of "no contest". Such a plea essentially is stating that you aren't admitting or denying anything, you're just wanting to resolve the case because you believe it is in your best interests.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If i plead no contest how would the judge normally react does that mean another court day so i can get a lawyer? or does that mean the police officer comes to the next court date or something like that? Do i have to plea not guilty before i can request a lawyer to get it possibly disimissed? If i bring stuff to show the judge will he consider it before i have a lwayer?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

If i plead no contest how would the judge normally react does that mean another court day so i can get a lawyer?

  • No, if you want another court date, you need to enter a plea of NOT guilty. If you enter a plea of guilty or no contest, that would lead to you being sentenced and the conclusion of the case.

 

 

or does that mean the police officer comes to the next court date or something like that?

  • Police officers only need to come to court for motion hearings and trials. The vast majority of cases are resolved by way of a plea. Meaning, the arresting officers rarely actually need to appear in court.

 

 

Do i have to plea not guilty before i can request a lawyer to get it possibly disimissed?

  • Go to your court date, enter a plea of not guilty and, if you think you are eligible, ask the judge to appoint a public defender. If you are not eligible, then you should consider hiring a private attorney. Either way, the attorney would review the evidence, discuss everything with you and help you make an informed and intelligent decision as to how to proceed.

 

 

If i bring stuff to show the judge will he consider it before i have a lwayer?

  • No, that's not how the system works, you don't just "bring stuff" to court. As detailed above, get an attorney involved, I assure you, this will help the process drastically.

 

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So theres no way to get a case dealed with in one trial without a plea of guilty? or no contest? that may lead to the same outcome?..do you think pleading no contest dcoes any good to the sentence?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

So theres no way to get a case dealed with in one trial without a plea of guilty? or no contest? that may lead to the same outcome?

  • I suspect you meant to deal with a case "in one court date without a plea of guilty". If you desire a quick resolution, go to your first court date and talk to the prosecutor about resolving the case. If you like what he has to offer, take it. If not, continue the case and ask for the public defender, as I stated above.

 

 

do you think pleading no contest dcoes any good to the sentence?

  • The alternative to a quick result is to seek the best result....these aren't always the same thing. It is certainly possible that you would benefit by delaying the matter, getting an attorney, having him examine the evidence and working towards the best result.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
so pleading not guilty will be for my benefit because then i can talk with a lawyer? there is no repuctions for pleading not guilty right? there wont sentence you anyway will they?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

To be clear, entering a plea of not guilty does not ensure a better result. Rather, entering a plea of not guilty will benefit you in that it permits you to get an attorney on the case to attempt to get a better result. It really comes down to two options:

 

  • quick result - try to resolve the case at your first court appearance, regardless of the plea offer
  • best result - if you enter a plea of not guilty, you can get an attorney on the case, he can review the case and, HOPEFULLY get you a better result

 

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

I am going off-line for the evening. Please feel free to respond, if necessary, and know that I will be back on-line tomorrow.

 

Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
so is it better to hear what they have to say about it first before i say im not guilty n drag it on?..is there a way of knowing the result before stating if your guilty or not guilty? Will the judge give me the oppertunity to speak besides the time he asks me if im guilty or not? can i mention i want to handle it in a way that it wont show up on my record? Is the only way to get is dismissed or lowered in punishment is to speak with an attorney first?...can i say i plead not guilty only becuase i would like to have an attorneys help at getting it reudced to an infraction or possibly dissmissed otherwise i plead no contest? or would the judge shut me up way before then?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.

We work on the honor system here, meaning, if we answer your question satisfactorily, we expect that you will click the "accept" so that we may be paid. You began with one simple question that was apparently answered to your satisfaction and you have posted follow-up after follow-up. Each follow-up was, in turn, answered for you. Further, your questions have now become rather circular as you are asking essentially the same questions over and over again. With this in mind, I would ask that you honor the honor system and click the "accept" so that I may be compensated for my efforts with you. However, responding again....

 

so is it better to hear what they have to say about it first before i say im not guilty n drag it on?

  • The prudent course of action here, as I've previously detailed, would be to go to court, arrive early, and speak with the prosecutor to find out what offer he would make to resolve the case. If you like the offer, take it. If you don't like it, then check on getting an attorney involved, either the public defender or hiring private counsel. Then enter the appropriate plea.

 

is there a way of knowing the result before stating if your guilty or not guilty?

  • Yes, by doing exactly as I've described.

 

 

Will the judge give me the oppertunity to speak besides the time he asks me if im guilty or not?

  • Perhaps, it really depends on the judge and the amount of time he has available that day. Having said that, the judge really only wants to know what your plea is and, therefore, how to proceed.

 

 

can i mention i want to handle it in a way that it wont show up on my record?

  • You can tell the prosecutor whatever you like. The one restriction I would mention is that you should avoid making any statements specific to the allegations. In other words, don't make a confession to the prosecutor or the judge. As the other expert already explained, you can ask the prosecutor about doing a diversion program. Such a program would have as an ultimate result the dismissal of the charges.

 

 

Is the only way to get is dismissed or lowered in punishment is to speak with an attorney first?

  • No, as I've indicated on several occasions, if you get an attorney involved, the hope is to get a better result but no attorney can ethically guarantee a better result. It's possible, again, that you can obtain a satisfactory result on your own by going to that first court appearance and talking to the prosecutor.

 

 

can i say i plead not guilty only becuase i would like to have an attorneys help at getting it reudced to an infraction or possibly dissmissed otherwise i plead no contest? or would the judge shut me up way before then?

  • At a first court appearance, I doubt the judge will care why you are entering a particular plea, he just want to know what you are doing so he will know how to proceed. Can you explain? Probably. Do you need to explain? No.

 

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
does a landlord have to install at least one phone jack. My landlord refused and i paid over 100$ to install it myself...what can i do about it?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
(Edited by Moderator)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I know but i was hoping you can help with that question seeing is how i never got an answer for my last set of questions
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
(Edited by Moderator)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I need a quick step by step walk threw of how court will be. I know i get in there and the judge states my case i am supposed to plead not guilty or guilty..but at what point do i have a chance to talk to the prosecutor? so that i might be able to get the result i want from the first trial
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I need a quick step by step walk threw of how court will be. I know i get in there and the judge states my case i am supposed to plead not guilty or guilty..but at what point do i have a chance to talk to the prosecutor? so that i might be able to get the result i want from the first trial
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I need a quick step by step walk threw of how court will be. I know i get in there and the judge states my case i am supposed to plead not guilty or guilty..but at what point do i have a chance to talk to the prosecutor? so that i might be able to get the result i want from the first trial
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I need a quick step by step walk threw of how court will be. I know i get in there and the judge states my case i am supposed to plead not guilty or guilty..but at what point do i have a chance to talk to the prosecutor? so that i might be able to get the result i want from the first trial
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I need a quick step by step walk threw of how court will be. I know i get in there and the judge states my case i am supposed to plead not guilty or guilty..but at what point do i have a chance to talk to the prosecutor? so that i might be able to get the result i want from the first trial
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Considering the lengths I've gone through with you on this matter (not to mention the efforts of the previous expert as well), it's apparent that I simply can't help you. As such, I will gladly opt out of this matter and see if any other expert wants to give it an attempt.

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