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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27109
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am 58 years old with no prior problems with the Law. I have

Customer Question

I am 58 years old with no prior problems with the Law. I have a Master's Degree and am actively volunteer in my Community. I am totally unaware of what to expect in court and what this will cost me. Can you give me any information? What should I know and what would you recommend I do? Thanks! Cat
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

I'm sorry. I don't seem to have much information on your issue.


What are you charged with?

What city/state?

Do you have an attorney yet?

What stage in the proceeding are you in?

What is your question or are you simply looking for some general guidance?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yesterday, I was charged with shoplifting. The total amount was $284.00 and I received a ticket from a Police Officer. I live in Minneapolis, MN. No, I do not have an attorney as this just happened yesterday and I don't know what I need or should do. The stage I am in is that within a few weeks, I need to call for a court date. I do not have the funds to hire an attorney, so I will need to have one provided by the court. I hope this attorney will help me and not just have me be one of 1,000 people he/she is working with. I have already stated my question so I am not sure what additional information you are looking for. Did you get all of my statements? If you do not practice law in MN, I am wondering if you are able to answer my questions and give me some guidance. I am also confused by the statement that "Answers are not considered legal advice." Since you are an attorney and I am seeking your guidance, then I don't understand the statement (and the actual results of our communications that I would be paying for). Please let me know what you are actually able to provide to me before we go further and before I am charged anything. Thanks! Cat
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

As I am not a licensed attorney in your area, I can only answer questions and cannot take on a representative capacity with you. I try to be very open about the nature of online answering and make sure that people do not get the idea that they are here to hire a lawyer to represent them in any way. This is an informational site where you can get answers to various questions under a wide variety of categories. The experts on this site are experience professionals in their respective fields who regularly represent clients in their respective jurisdictions, however attorneys are licensed from state to state and attorneys are not permitted to practice law outside the state(s) in which they are licensed. Therefore, we must advise you up front that we are not here to represent you or be a substitute for a lawyer in your area.


If you would prefer... I will opt out and see if we have anyone licensed to practice in your state. However, even if they are licensed in your state they will not likely be willing to take on a representative capacity online. The internet is not a good venue to form an attorney-client relationship.


Please let me know what you prefer... I'll be happy to continue assisting you or opt out and see who else we have...



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for your answer to my query. I don't think I will be able to get what I am seeking through this venue, so I do not want to proceed. Please see that my $15.00 deposit is returned to me and that I am not charged. I ask that you respond to this message to verify that I am not being charged. Thank you. Cat
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.

I will be happy to refer your refund request to customer service. Experts are not employed by JustAnswer so I have no control over your deposit. The customer service people will be happy to help you.


By the way, do not worry yourself too much about a first offense shoplifting charge. You should contact your local public defender's office and ask about qualifying for their services. You will likely be given first offender treatment and may even avoid being convicted of a crime. My prediction is that you will feel much better about this after discussing this with your public defender.


I hope you return to JustAnswer in the future. I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am confused - I understood that I would NOT be charged until I was satisfied with the information given to me. But, your message sounds like I have been charged and that you will ask Customer Service to credit the charge. Please clarify this. Thanks. Cat
Expert:  JD replied 8 years ago.
When you click ACCEPT on an answer, you pay for that answer and the expert receives a portion of the payment for their time and effort. I will have to leave the rest of your question to the customer service people as I am not entire familiar with how the deposit system works.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Again, I don't understand -- seince I did not receive an answer, then I should not have been charged! You and I didn't proceed to get to the point of where you provided an answer to my query. I ended out communication once I read that you are not able to address MN law. You did ask me if I would like you to find me someone who could help me with MN law. So, since we did not get to the stage and me actually receiving an answere, then I should not be charged - right? Thanks. Cat
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 8 years ago.
I will respond so that you understand the process.

There's a one-time membership fee to use the site. You did not pay the expert the $15 you proposed when you posted your question, as you were not satisfied with the answer. However, you remain a member of the site and can still use its services for other questions, the answers to which might be more useful to you.

If you think you don't wish to use them again, then write to customer service and ask to be refunded.