How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask AttorneyTom Your Own Question
AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience:  Attorney
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
AttorneyTom is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

i have been charged with a misdemeanor 1 for picking up a backpack

Resolved Question:

i have been charged with a misdemeanor 1 for picking up a backpack at kings island and taking the 3 dollars out of it before being stopped by officers i was going to turn the bag into lost and found at main gate. i know what i did was wrong i just dont want to go to jail i have three kids and my husband is dead so i dont know what to do.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
I'm sorry to hear about the situation. For a minor first offense of theft, jail is not typically probably. The prosecutor may even agree to a deal whereby adjudication would be withheld upon the completion of probation and the payment of a fine. When adjudication is withheld, after those things are completed, the charges are dismissed and that may facilitate an expungement later. You will want to retain an attorney to represent you, as your attorney will evaluate any possible defenses and negotiate to try to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. If you cannot afford one, you can ask the court to appoint one for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
are you saying that this will probably not be settled at the first hearing?
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
Not if you've been charged with a crime. At your first court appearance, you'll be asked to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). It's possible that the prosecutor will pull you aside and offer a deal like the one I described, or something else. However, the prosecutor is not obligated to do so.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i had asked if it was ok for me to approach the prosecutor to ask for a deal or no?
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your message. If you asked that previously, I did not receive your message. I can only see what appears here on this page.
You can try to negotiate with the prosecutor yourself if you wish. However, it would be better to retain an attorney for that purpose, as attorneys are skilled, trained negotiators with a great deal of knowledge about the law, and that can work in your favor with such matters.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
but if i ask for a deal the first hearing i wont have to go back to court again right? i would just like to get this over with. my stomach hurts and i cannot eat. i have never been in trouble before. sorry to bother you
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your message. It's no bother at all.
If the prosecutor agrees to a deal like that, you'd still have to follow through with probation and pay your fine. However, there wouldn't be additional court appearances.
I understand the stress but it's important to put it in perspective. Realistically, for a minor theft charge, as a first offense, it's highly unlikely that there would be any jail time. You really shouldn't be too stressed and you definitely shouldn't panic. Instead, you should handle the charge responsibly and use this as an opportunity for personal growth. Even so, don't lose sleep over it. Yes, it's a big deal any time you're charged with a crime, but it will likely all work out fine as long as you're responsible with the way you address it.
The last thing you want to do is rush into something without legal counsel. As worried as you are, retaining an attorney would be the best investment you could make. You want to make sure you don't take a bad deal simply to get it over with and you want your attorney to help you with attempting to negotiate a favorable one.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i understand retaining an attorney but like i said i work but have 3 kids my husband passed away and i have bills and bills and house payment. i even go to food pantries to help with my grocery bill because they say i make to much for food stamps because i get social security benefits.
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
I understand. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be entitled to a public defender and you can ask the court to appoint one for you. Alternatively, you may be able to get assistance from a local attorney, as he may work for a reduced rate, accept payments, or accept credit cards.

The following information is way outside the scope of your question. However, I think you might be interested in it. You and your children (if they're under 16) may be entitled to survivor's Social Security Benefits. You can read more about it here:
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
do you know where i can go to see if i can get a local attorney at a reduced rate?
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 4 years ago.
You could try local legal clinics first to see if any assist with criminal matters, though that's usually the realm of public defenders. Aside from that, each attorney's fees are his own matter and each attorney decides what fees he will charge each client. Therefore, the only way to find one who will work with you is to call and ask. You might try the links below.
Local Lawyer Referral Services:
Local Legal Clinics:
AttorneyTom and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Criminal Law Questions