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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16580
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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What happens to first time offender shoplifting? My friend

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What happens to first time offender shoplifting? My friend got taken to police station and had to get bail. She has a court date assigned in a few months. She admitted her guilt to the store authorities hoping to get out of police station and just pay fine. She took $65 worth of merchandise from wal- mart. What should she do before appearing in court?

Alex J. Esq. :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Alex J. Esq. :

Are you online with me?

Alex J. Esq. :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Alex J. Esq. :

Can you please tell me in which state this took place?

Customer: Alabama
Alex J. Esq. :

Unfortunately, your friend has been charged with a serious misdemeanor crime.

Alex J. Esq. :

This criminal offense carries a penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $6000 upon conviction.

Alex J. Esq. :

Does this make sense?

Customer: So what should she do before appearing in court and since she admitted guilt should she plead guilty or not guillty?
Alex J. Esq. :

It is never a good idea for anyone charged with a crime to plead guilty.

Alex J. Esq. :

It would be a good idea for your friend to consult and retain local experienced criminal defense attorney and hopefully this local criminal defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal, that would allow your friend to enter into a first offender program and avoid any jail time and criminal conviction record.

Alex J. Esq. :

Does that make sense?

Alex J. Esq. :

Do you have any related follow up questions for me?

Customer: Won't that be really expensive? Does the court not provide an attorney and isn't leniency on first time offender with no record????
Alex J. Esq. :

If your friend cannot afford a private attorney, she can apply for a free public defender, but public defenders do have very large case loads and simply don't always have the time and energy required to each case that is assigned to them.

Customer: Some people never even taken to police station and just get a fine. Why was this handled so seriously? Will they use her admittance of guilt at the store against her in court?
Alex J. Esq. :

Yes.

Alex J. Esq. :

Your friend has admitted to a crime and such confession / admission can be used in court to convict your friend and if your friend is convicted she can face up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $6000

Customer: She wasn't READ HER RIGHTS! Is that legal?
Alex J. Esq. :

This is why your friend does need to consult and retain an experienced local criminal attorney as soon as possible.

Alex J. Esq. :

Yes, if she was not under arrest

Alex J. Esq. :

Police only had to read Miranda rights when the person has been arrested or detained.

Alex J. Esq. :

I she simply volunteered her admission, unfortunately it would be admissible in court.

Customer: She had been detained AND HANDCUFFED!
Alex J. Esq. :

Well, did police videotape her confession?

Customer: She was taken to back room in store and handcuffed and questioned back there
Alex J. Esq. :

Was the admission recorded or videotaped by anyone?

Customer: Not that she knows of
Customer: I guess she could have been taped wo knowledge?
Alex J. Esq. :

possibly, but police will always deny the fact that the Miranda rights were not read.

Alex J. Esq. :

And even if the Miranda rights in fact were not read prior to questioning, it will take a skilled local criminal defense attorney to get the confession thrown out, based on the police failure to read Miranda rights to your friend.

Customer: At wal mart what do they usually do to first time offenders - what's the norm?
Alex J. Esq. :

It is not Walmart

Alex J. Esq. :

Your friend has been charged with a serious crime by the state prosecutor

Alex J. Esq. :

It is not up to the Walmart at this point, as far as what happens to your friend.

Alex J. Esq. :

Each store has its own internal policies.

Alex J. Esq. :

In many cases the decision to call police and press charges is up to the store manager and loss prevention supervisor.

Customer: If you had to guess in state of ala what would fine/ penalty be for first time offender?
Alex J. Esq. :

It can be as high as 1 year in jail or as minimal as a year or two probation, fine and community service.

Alex J. Esq. :

In most cases first time offenders would not be sent to jail, however in some cases it happens.

Customer: How much would private attorney be for such case?
Alex J. Esq. :

Each attorney sets his/her own rate, so it would be hard to guess, but it can be anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 or more

Alex J. Esq. :

It would be a good idea to contact several local criminal defense attorneys and get their rates and feedback

Customer: Sheesh she's screwed ......
Alex J. Esq. :

I am very sorry.

Alex J. Esq. :

Please understand that I have to provide customers with correct information, even when such information is not favorable to the customer.

Customer: Do you have any rec for Birmingham ala attorney that could do this?
Alex J. Esq. :



You can find an experienced local criminal defense attorney by using this well trusted and reliable attorney information / referral websites:


www.martindale.com


www.lexmundi.com


www.lawyers.com


www.justia.com


I wish you the best of luck and please let me know if you have any related follow up questions.

Customer: Thank you.....
Alex J. Esq. :

Thank you and good luck!

Alex J. Esq. and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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