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Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 35383
Experience:  16 years practicing criminal defense.
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I was arrested today in Walmart

Customer Question

I was arrested for shoplifting today in Walmart for items worth of $205. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 am i have appear in court, Can anyone help

xxxxxx
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Is this your first offense?
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Do you have any other criminal record?
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What is your specific legal question that I can help with tonight?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you sir. This is my first offence and I do not have any criminal record on my name. I would like to know what happens next and How can i get help.

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Are you going to dispute the charges or are you going to plead guilty and seek the minimum penalty?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you sir. What difference does it make if I do and I dont. I am just trying to understand all this. I was off mind when i did this today and will never do this. What will happen? Will I be jailed?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
If you go in to the arraignment and plead not guilty, then if you can't afford an attorney of your own, the court will provide one to you for your trial. The judge would then set a pretrial conference date a month or so later and you would have to appear with your attorney and either accept the DA's offer for a guilty plea or set the case for trial a few months later.
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If you wanted a trial, then the judge sets a trial date and the case moves to trial several months later.
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If you accepted the DA's offer for a plea of guilty at any time, the case is over and whatever penalty the DA offered is imposed by the judge. Typically a fine and possibly probation.
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However since this is your first offense, you might be eligible for a "pre trial diversion" program where you are put on probation, pay your court costs and do some community service. Then if you complete your diversion successfully, the charge is dimissed and there is no conviction.
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So it would be best to plead not guilty, and ask for a Public Defender at the arraignment if the DA doesn't offer you a diversion program option then. That way you buy some time to talk to an attorney to see if they can get you accepted into the diversion program to keep this off your formal criminal record.
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thanks
Barrister