I was charged with theft by conversion for not paying and retuning the car rental. I was arrested and booked however because of my clean record and never being into trouble I was released with no bond. I'm very much concerned on what the next step is or the process once I go to court.
State/Country relating to question: Georgia
Hello Jacustomer,Rental companies do this routinely when someone books a rental for a certain period and then decides for whatever reason to keep it longer. When I've had cases like this, they have come down to how long you kept the car beyond the rental period, and why. A short period of time, and a verifiable good excuse could get this case behind you. Hanging onto it for a long period of time without clearing this with the rental agency would be a problem.In the best case scenarios, I have had matters like this dismissed. In the worst, however, they usually wind up on either Misdemeanor or Felony probation, which is a standard offer for a crime like this, along with restitution to the rental company.You should have a lawyer with you on your first court date if you can afford to retain him. Chances are you will not need him for too many court dates. If you don't know where to begin lookiing for a criminal lawyer try the Georgia State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. They will charge you around $50 for the referral, which will include a free half hour interview with the attorney.If, on the other hand, you cannot hire one, then you need to simply plead not guilty on your first court date and then tell the judge you need a public defender. Not guilty is the only plea that keeps all of your rights open. Anything else will give you a conviction. You can plead guilty later on if you want, but only once there is a deal in front of you that you like. You want to come out of this without a Criminal Record if you can. The judge will get a free lawyer for you if he agrees that paying for a lawyer would cause you too great of a hardship and the lawyer will advise you of all of your options so that you can make sensible decisions for yourself.Meanwhile, do not talk about what you did here with the police or with anyone, for that matter except for a lawyer. Anything you say to others can potentially be used against you.
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