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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16375
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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When someone gets arrested for theft and gets charged with

Resolved Question:

When someone gets arrested for theft and gets charged with felony what can be one of the sentence one will get when going to court? Bail was for $3000.00 and only paid $300.00
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

To get a better idea of exactly what you're facing, can you please tell me the value of the property you allegedly stole and also if you have any prior misdemeanors or felony convictions.

When I have that, I will look up the law and answer your question.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Total don't exactly know it was for a period of time was charged with $300 and I do have a misdemeanor for not paying a traffic ticket
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,
This would be a Class C felony, if the amount stolen is more than $250 and less than $5,000. It carries a maximum of 5 years of jail a minimum of 1 year.

Frankly, since $300 is a great deal less than $5,000, I am not at this point convinced that the state will be likely to indict this matter and prosecute this as a felony. I think it's likely that a misdemeanor disposition could be worked out here.

If you haven't already done so, plead not guilty and get yourself a criminal lawyer to work something out for you. In my experience with cases of this sort, you should be able to avoid jail, though in trade for it, as you have a prior offense, you might have to end up with the offense on your record.

If you can't afford a lawyer ask the judge to appoint you a public defender.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,
This would be a Class C felony, if the amount stolen is more than $250 and less than $5,000. It carries a maximum of 5 years of jail a minimum of 1 year.

Frankly, since $300 is a great deal less than $5,000, I am not at this point convinced that the state will be likely to indict this matter and prosecute this as a felony. I think it's likely that a misdemeanor disposition could be worked out here.

If you haven't already done so, plead not guilty and get yourself a criminal lawyer to work something out for you. In my experience with cases of this sort, you should be able to avoid jail, though in trade for it, as you have a prior offense, you might have to end up with the offense on your record.

If you can't afford a lawyer ask the judge to appoint you a public defender.








Customer: replied 3 years ago.
But if the total amunt ends up being more than $1000 will that mean I will be going to jail anyways or can I pay with comunity service parole or something else?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Sorry for the delay. I'have been having some computer problems with this site tonight.

In my experience, since this is a non-violent first felony charge, if your only previous contact with the system is a traffic violation, you should be able to avoid jail on this case. Your worst case scenario would probably be probation. If they reduce it, community service and/or a hefty fine could be possible too.

Just make sure you have a lawyer as I said earlier.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Parole, community service sounds much betterthan jail. What would happen if I declared myself guilty I have not been to court yet. And what does no content means.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

What would happen if you walked in and declared yourself guilty would be anything up to 5 years of jail. No defendant should EVER do that.

Go in and plead NOT GUILTY. That's your Constitutional right, no matter what you actually did and you are entitled to do that. It's the only way you won't lose all of your rights. Then, if you can't afford a lawyer, tell the judge you need a public defender. He will adjourn it for another date so that you can meet and talk to your lawyer.

Once you have a deal in hand and know what the sentence is, if it's something you want you can THEN take back your previously entered "not guilty" plea and enter a plea of Guilty or No Contest to the charges. That way, you will get sentenced to what you want.

A plea of No Contest still results in a conviction. However, it's not an admission of guilt. Essentially it means, "I am not saying I'm guilty, but I'm taking this plea because I believe the state can prove the charges against me." The big difference between Guilty and No Contest is in the civil courts. A plea of Guilty in a criminal case can be used against you in a civil suit as an admission if any such suit were to flow out of this incident. A plea of No Contest makes no admission so it can't be used against you in a civil case. As far as what it means criminally, there's really no difference. Both are a conviction on the charges.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Of course I cannot afford a lawyer but for sure I need to plea not guilty so I don't get sentence to jail and be able to receive parol and I do need to tell my lawyer the truth and will he be able to keep me for getting any time in jail or he might be able?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Yes of course you tell your lawyer the truth. If you don't he won't be able to help you the way he should. And from experience I can tell you that no lawyer likes being caught by surprise with a problem he would have never had to deal with if his client had just been honest with him.

Pleading not guilty when you are first asked is a formality, not a lie. All criminal defendants are supposed to do that. You can always take back a not guilty plea to get a deal. But once you plead guilty it's written in stone. You should never plead guilty until you know what you are getting in exchange for that plea and you are happy with that.

Again, in my experience, based on the facts you have shared, when I have had clients in your situation I have had no difficulty in getting them a deal that keeps them out of jail. Nothing is ever guaranteed, of course, but if you don't like the plea, you never have to take it. You can hold out longer and see if the will get better down the road, or you could fight the case and go to trial.

Good luck!!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I didn't get your last answer.. of a course I cannot afford a lawyer but for me pleading not guilty and telling my lawyer everything he most likly can get me parole and no prision or maybe?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I appreciate your time and all of this information is really helpful and just with having some hope that i might not be getting any jail time. Keep up with the grat job you do.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
I can see my last answer just fine, but if you can't, I'll copy it here. It's the same thing I keep saying from the beginning.


Yes of course you tell your lawyer the truth. If you don't he won't be able to help you the way he should. And from experience I can tell you that no lawyer likes being caught by surprise with a problem he would have never had to deal with if his client had just been honest with him.

Pleading not guilty when you are first asked is a formality, not a lie. All criminal defendants are supposed to do that. You can always take back a not guilty plea to get a deal. But once you plead guilty it's written in stone. You should never plead guilty until you know what you are getting in exchange for that plea and you are happy with that.

Again, in my experience, based on the facts you have shared, when I have had clients in your situation I have had no difficulty in getting them a deal that keeps them out of jail. Nothing is ever guaranteed, of course, but if you don't like the plea, you never have to take it. You can hold out longer and see if the will get better down the road, or you could fight the case and go to trial.

Good luck!!
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16375
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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