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need help got arrested today on shop lifting charges first

offense and dont want jail...
need help got arrested today on shop lifting charges first offense and dont want jail time cant afford lawyer or court costs amount was high i am enrolling in a class for shop lifting to show remourse
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Answered in 25 minutes by:
2/2/2009
Bappelman
Bappelman, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience: Former Public Defender, Founder and Criminal Defense Attorney at Appelman Criminal Defense LLC.
Verified
Hello,

I can help you with your issues.

Please first tell me: What is your exact question?

Once you repsond I will be better able to help you.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
i got arrested on shoplifting today im scared and dont want to go to jail cant afford a lawyer or court costs. i want the charge to be plead down im guilty they got me on tape and was a lot in merchandise, i live in new jersey i plan on taking a class for shop lifting to show the court how sorry i am its a first time offense but got told i could do jail time please i dont want to go to jail total was over 400 what do i do please help im sick over it cant sleep cant think i dont want my job finding out either.
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
what can i do to not go to jail and plead down?? please
Thanks for the reply.

The main thing that will determine if you go to jail for this or not is your criminal background. If you have never been arrested before then it is highly likely that you will NOT do any jail time over this. If, on the other hand, you have a criminal history, then you might spend some time in jail over this.

You need to go to court and ask the judge to appoint you a Public Defender. These are the lawyers that the court gives to defendants who cannot afford a private attorney. Public Defenders are good lawyers, so do not be afraid to use one.

You lawyer will be able to negotiate with the prosecutor and try to lessen the charges against you. They will also try to negotiate a plea deal for you, where you would plead guilty, but receive a light sentence.

So get a public defender, and let them negotiate a good deal for you.

Good Luck!
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
i never been arrested the amount was very high though and thats what scares me i am enrolling in the class and i do not want to go to jail. do you think i would go to jail for this? thats what scares me?? i know though courts would work with me in paying the costs coz i cant afford. how long does it stay on record for?? i dont want to go to jail im scared, how much does a lawyer usually charge to represent on this manner if i obtained one??
As I stated previously, I do not think you will go to jail for this, especially since you have no prior criminal history.

If you get convicted of a crime it will remain on your record forever, or until you are able to have it expunged or sealed. That usually takes a minimum of a few years after the conviction occurs.

If you cannot afford an attorney, the court has to give you one. The Public Defenders are the lawyers for those who do not have the money to hire an attorney. There is usually a small fee for the PUblic Defender, in a case like yours it might be around $200.

I do not think you need to be so worried about this charge. I do not think you will go to jail at all over this case.

Please hit the Accept button so that I will get credit for helping you. You will still be able to reply to me for more information.

Thank you.
Bappelman
Bappelman, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience: Former Public Defender, Founder and Criminal Defense Attorney at Appelman Criminal Defense LLC.
Verified
Bappelman and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 8 years ago

are you surei wont go to jail? was over 400? so its a felony? right??

I cannot promise that you will not go to jail, but based on my experience in these charges I do not think you will go to jail at all over this case.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
okay i hope i do not go to jail because my life is changed by this im scared and fearful they didnt hold me in jail today over it im hoping i can plead down to lesser charge when i go to court do i ask to speak to public defender when i get there? also can i ask if i could get off my record right there and then?
You need to ask the judge to "appoint to you" a public defender. Once he does, then you will be able to talk to the lawyer.

You cannot ask for this to be taken off your record until the case is over. Once it is over you will normally have to wait at least 2 or 3 years to then ask to have it removed from your record.

Good Luck
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
thank u so the day i go to court i ask the judge for a publuic defender meet with the defender and go from there then??
Yes.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
i havent been able to sleep feel ill to my stomach over this would it be over that day or would i have to go back to court
Customer reply replied 8 years ago
would i have to do back to court again to get charges dismissed of my record?? i been sick all day got told not to plea anything when i go and ask the judge for a public defender then i got to go to court again right?? or do i get oublic defender that day and get this over with
OK,

Last response on this question. IF you have any further questions you will have to post them as a new question.

1. Go to court on your court date and plead NOT guilty.

2. Ask the judge to appoint to you a Public Defender.

3. Speak to your Public Defender about your case and have them help you to either get a good plea deal, or to go to trial. You will probably NOT be able to finish your case all in one day. You will most likely have to return to court a month later. You r Public Defender will explain all of this to you.

4. IF you get a conviction you will probably have to wait a few years before you can even apply for an expungement of your record.

5. When it is time, hire an attorney who will file all of the necessary paperwork to get your case expunged off your record.

I wish you the best of luck!
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Bappelman
Bappelman
Bappelman, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 313
313 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Former Public Defender, Founder and Criminal Defense Attorney at Appelman Criminal Defense LLC.

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