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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4391
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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My Granddaughter was caught on camera shoplifting from a

Customer Question

My Granddaughter was caught on camera shoplifting from a local department store. She was high and dumb. her friends and her safe house counselor are telling her to tell the court that she is not guilty. that way the court will work out a better deal for her. Is this true, and should she plead not guilty?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 6 months ago.
Hello.I'm sorry to hear about her situation. It is a good idea for her to get a lawyer, first of all. The lawyer will handle negotiations with the prosecutor in order to try to work out a better deal. If she can't afford an attorney, then she can request a public defender. If she has time before her court date, she may want to try to contact their office in advance to see what she can do to secure representation. If not, then she will want to make sure she puts in a request for a public defender at her court date. I assume you are talking about her initial appearance where she enters her plea. She can enter a not guilty plea at that time. It doesn't prevent her from changing her plea later to guilty if a lawyer is able to work out a better deal for her. She can also consider whatever deal is put on the table before she has an attorney. There is no guarantee that an attorney can get her a better plea offer, and so if she is offered what she believes is a good plea deal, she can take it if she wants. If she doesn't like the deal, then she will likely want to get a lawyer to try to get her a better offer. Again, there is no guarantee the attorney will get a better deal from the prosecutor or the court, but it typically doesn't get worse. Whether to accept a plea or not is her decision, but she should get whatever information she can get, i.e. such as what the current plea offer is, before she decides to accept or reject it.

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