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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16319
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hello, Im not sure if you can see my original question.

Resolved Question:

Hello,
I'm not sure if you can see my original question. If you need more information just let me know. If you can't see it the rest probably won't make much sense.

I am going to show up for my first court date and ask to be considered for The First Offenders Program. I am going to bring documentation to support the fact that I am getting help for my Bi-polar disorder. I have maniac episodes and get very confused. It was a mistake and I've never even had a parking ticket before. I will not be hiring an attorney for this.

If it goes to court I will have to use a public defender. I did check with the court and they aren't sure why the prison told me the charges were dropped.

Is there any other advise you can give me about showing up in court the first time? I did stay in jail for 28 hours. My husband posted bond within 3 hours. They needed to get my fingerprints back from every state. It took a long time because I have never been arrested. Should I bring that up my first time in court?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.
Hello,

I answered your other question and I think that you may be able to do better than a first offender's program.. You may, for example, be eligible for a straight diversion opportunity. That would be less intensive supervision if you can get it. There are also help-oriented programs such as Mental Health Court, which works with you from both a medical and a legal perspective to help you better cope with your bi-polar issues so that you don't yield to an impulse such as this again.

So what I'd do is to go into court, plead not guilty and ask the judge for a public defender to negotiate this for you. If you do this yourself without first knowing all of your rights and what else may be available to you, you may lock yourself into a box and regret it later. You have a fundamental right to remain silent, refrain from incriminating yourself and make the state work to prove these charges against you. Once you open up your mouth, anything you say can be used against you, so it's really much better to let a lawyer do your talking.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I am actually enrolled in a mental health program. I also have a therapist who is willing to write a letter saying that I am receiving treatment for this. Should I bring this to my first court appearance?


 


I did sign something saying I was guilty. The store had me sign it and said they would tell the police I cooperated with them. I have also paid a civil penalty fee to the store.


 


I'm not sure why the police officer never told me my Miranda Rights. Is it important that he didn't? All he asked me was if I knew what I was being charged with?


 

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

Whether you signed something that said you were guilty in the store or not, you have the right to plead not guilty at your arraignment. That doesn't mean that you have to take the case to trial. But it is the only plea that keeps your rights open so that you can get what you want.

So plead not guilty ask for the public defender and give the medical documentation to him when you see him so that he can use it to help you get a more favorable disposition.

Miranda is only necessary if you were interrogated about the incident after you were arrested. Miranda warnings are not required in every case. If no questions, then no Miranda. Miranda also only applies to the police and not to store security. So if the security folks in the store made you sign a confession, that's not covered by Miranda.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16319
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 4 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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