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Juliana, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1651
Experience:  Former prosecutor with 4 years of experience, criminal justice degree
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I was in a store and had my hand full with milk, eggs, oj,

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I was in a store and had my hand full with milk, eggs, oj, and put a lg bottle laxative in my coat pocket to carry to check out. I shouldn't have I know. They got me for shop lifting. Do i need an attorney for mayors court?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Juliana replied 5 years ago.



Thanks for your question.


I used to be a magistrate in mayors court in Ohio, so I'll be glad to help you.


Whenever a criminal charge involves possible jail time upon conviction, my thought is that a defendant should be represented by an attorney. Mayors courts can sentence convicted defendants to jail time, similar to the municipal and common pleas courts in Ohio. However, in my experience, they try to avoid sentencing defendants to jail time, since the village where the mayors court is located must pay part or all of their jail fees. But, it can and does happen that convicted defendants are sentenced to jail in mayors court, so if it were me, I wouldn't take my chances by going in without an attorney.


With a theft charge, the prosecution must prove that you knowingly took the item, without the owner's permission. Most theft cases turn on this particular element of the law -- that is, whether the defendant *knowingly* took the item, or whether it was an unintentional, absent-minded accident.


If your case would happen to go to trial, you would probably be more successful with an attorney in putting forth your defense that you took the laxative by accident rather than intentionally. If you intend to plead guilty or no contest to your charges, you would probably also be more successful in getting a better sentence if you had an attorney.

Just my two cents worth -- the decision of whether to have an attorney represent you is ultimately for you to make. Good luck.




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