Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing law for 19+ years and look forward to assisting you.
Hi, I have a serious problem here. So this is what happened : I went to mall for shopping in NY in H.M. and I paid my clothes but I stole some clothes (under 50) on the way out. Ouch, troubling impulse?
And they caught me. I was given a appearance ticket to court. And I went that day but the judge gave me 3 paper (1st is misdemeanor information which talks about what I did (but on that paper it says I stole $57 clothes but i clearly remember I stole only $47) Super! You will want to get proof of what those items cost - such as having someone go there and buy exactly the items in question, retain receipt AND the tags on thoe specific items.... It is very possible that the complainant store fudged that part of the complaint to get you OVER a threshhold and make it more difficult for you.
; 2nd one is about the next court date which is one month later and interview schedule for public defender. If you can put in some overtme and work to avoid having to use a PD, I'd urge you to get your own attorney. PD generally means you are persuaded to plead guilty even if the state lost the evidence and/or can't prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt because it doesn't have admissible evidence (only inadmissiable, for example).
3rd one is just a duplicate of first one.). and on the way out of the court, I was brought to do the finger print. That makes sense.
I originally thought I just need to go to court and plead guilty and pay some funds and there wont be record. There is ALWAYS a record of charges of a crime. And of course if you please guilty, then it is more than a mere charge and turns into a conviction.
but since I did finger print and was told to find a public defender, I feel like this is very serious. Of course! If you had a clean record before, if you are convicted either based on plea by you OR by trial resulitng in conviction, you will now have a criminal record reflecting theft - and you will likely be unable to secure suitable employment for your adult life - beyond, say, waiting tables or other manual jobs that may not require background check. As such, I do urge you to take it very seriously and take all measures within reason to avoid a criminal conviction.
Also, I am currently apply for student visa and I am leaving to another country just the day after the next court date. Can anyone tell me what is this public defender thing all about ? The PD works for the State, just like the prosecutor. Although he has an attorney duty to his client, in a practical reality, rarely to PD's try the case, instead they usually urge their clients to plead to something less than the original charge so they will not have to spend time trying the case. Sometimes pleading is necessary and smart - other times,the person is actually innocent and pushed into pleading guilty to save the PD, prosecutor, and Court, time and expense of giving him a trial.
And if I got an public defender to defend my case, will I have any criminal record that affects my visa ? If you are convicted (including if you get a conviction because you willingly plead guilty to something) yes, that is possible - BUT, is what you will want to discuss with your immigration attorney.
And do I just need to get a public defender and go to court ? Or I have to do aomething more after the court ? You will have to do whatever it is that you are sentenced to. If you go to court and plead not guilty, you will have a new date for a trial, so you will have to stick around for that (in theory).
Because I have to leave the day after the court and everything has to be done before I leave. This could definitely put a cog in your wheel if not handled perfectly, so I do urge you to use those funds of yours for a private criminal attorney who can ensure that either your pleading of guilty results in no jail time and no community service, (maybe just a big fine or delayed jail time/community service, for when you return). Since a PD tends to work WITH the State, at least to some degree, you are less likely to get him fighting very hard on the little details, like your travel plans. This is my opinion of course, and I am sure PDs around NY would expressly disagree.
Please help me out! I really appreciate it!!! Anytime. To repeat, if you can get an attorney that can ensure you can keep a crime off of your record, I urge you to do it. Your student schooling and VISA will end up being a waste of your money, very possibly, if you have to go through life with a criminal conviction record for theft. Jobs involving money management will likely be off limits to you, and most major employers now require passing a criminal background check to even remain in their applicant pool - much less get the job. What you do now can effect the rest of your career and ability to earn income.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.