Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.
Q) Can you tell me what to do
I'm sorry for the situation you've found yourself in. Let's talk about the law, and then discuss the options you have going forward.
165.40 is criminal
possession of stolen property in the 5th degree. It's a class A misdemeanor
, which has a maximum punishment of 12 months in jail if convicted.
I'm surprised you weren't charged under the petit larceny
statute, 155.05. That would probably be easier for the government to prove than possessing stolen merchandise. Petit larceny is still a class A misdemeanor, so there's no change in the potential punishment.
If tomorrow is your first appearance in court for this charge, it is probably your arraignment
. An arraignment is where the judge 1) tells you what the charge is against you, 2) MIGHT ask you to enter a plea, and 3) inquires whether or not you want an attorney to be appointed.
Say "not guilty" if you are asked for a plea, even if you BELIEVE you are guilty as sin and you want to plead guilty anyway, and ask for an attorney to be appointed. Assuming you qualify for an appointed attorney, the judge will give you contact information for that person. You will also be given a new court date. That will probably be your trial
Contact your attorney well before your next court date. It sounds like you may not have much of a defense, but that's the attorney's job to figure out. Let him or her analyze the facts and give you legal advice as to what to do.
Since you have absolutely no record, you could certainly ask for an ACD. That's an "adjournment in contemplation of a dismissal." Basically, you say to the judge, "I am guilty, I really regret what I did, I've never been in trouble before, I feel like such an idiot, please cut me a break." etc. (Maybe not in those exact words!
If the judge agrees, and I think in your situation that's a no-brainer that any judge will agree with your request, then you simply have to stay out of trouble, pay your court costs, pay back any money you might owe for the stuff you (allegedly) stole, etc. You may or may not have another court date in the future.
The brilliant part about an ACD is the end result: the charge is dismissed
. This would be a huge win for you, especially if you think you'd be found guilty anyway. You get to keep your clean record and you don't have to go to jail.
Even on the wildly crazy chance the judge does NOT agree to an ACD and you are found guilty, my guess is that you would get a small fine, maybe some community service. I seriously doubt you're going to jail.
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