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While the decision to dismiss a charge or not is most often left to the prosecutor, given these facts, I think you stand a good chance of having a lawyer negotiate having the charge dismissed. That's because theft requires the element of intent - you have to intend to take an item that you know belongs to someone else. Here, it sounds like you were helping your girlfriend, you didn't know what items were hers and what wasn't, and accidentally included the bridge with her things, which you then returned to the police when requested, which shows good faith on your part.
Your first hearing is the arraignment, where you are expected to enter a plea. That's it. Plead not guilty, and the judge will set the matter for a later court date. The judge may also inquire as to whether you have a lawyer or need a lawyer - since you plan to hire someone you would just inform the court that you intend to hire someone, but just haven't had the opportunity to do so.
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