Criminal Law

Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Criminal Law

My son was arrested for petit theft in Broward count Florida

Customer Question
and his court date is...
My son was arrested for petit theft in Broward count Florida and his court date is on Monday to go in front of the judge...how should he plead? I have advised him to plead no contest and then ask for the diversion program-is this correct? I also then wanted to pay a lawyer to have the record sealed or expunged. Please advise if I am giving him the correct information.
Thanks in advance for your assistance!
Lisa
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Answered in 13 minutes by:
6/2/2012
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 5 years ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,675
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Hello Jacustomer,

You are incorrect. The only plea your son should make at his arraignment is a plea of not guilty. He has that right under the Constitution, as he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Pleading not guilty is the only plea that keeps a defendant's rights open long enough for him to receive legal counsel and understand his rights and choices well enough to make an intelligent decision about his case. A plea of guilty or a plea of no contest will give your son a criminal conviction to put on his record, and there would be no reason for him to put himself in that situation until he knows what he will get as a sentence in exchange for the plea. More simply put, if he pleads no contest and asks for diversion and the DA says no, he's stuck. He's already admitted guilt on the record and the negotiations are out of his control.

I don't know how old your son is, or the value of what he's allegedly shoplifted, but in any case, there is nothing much worse than a theft offense, even on a misdemeanor level, to ruin someone's future. The offense goes directly to dishonesty and lack of character, and employers will simply run away from him. For that reason, he should have a lawyer, who will be in the best position to protect his rights, since criminal cases have lifetime consequences.

If he can afford one, he should have the lawyer with him on his first court date. If he's unable to pay for one, he can plead not guilty and then ask the court to appoint him a public defender.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago

My son is 18 and his court date is this Monday-I did not hire an attorney. Would I be able to get a lawyer at the eleventh hour? Please advise...Lastly, can anyone get a public defender or is based on any kind of income requirements etc.?

 

Thanks again!

Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 5 years ago
Hi Lisa,

If he's 18, then your son is facing adult court and a possible criminal record. He can plead not guilty at his arraignment and see what happens from there. That is, if the court then turns around and offers him a pretrial diversion program and that's what he wants, he can take it. If they don't or if they make him no offer at all, he can ask the court to appoint him a public defender. If the judge says no (yes, he has to be financially eligible and if he's living at home with you and your income is not poverty level, he's likely not to get one) he can just ask for a continuance for him to come back with paid counsel. The judge will grant that.

What he must not do is to discuss the facts and circumstances of the case with the court. The only person who he can talk to freely about the incident would be his lawyer. Anyone else can, and will, use it against him.
Ask Your Own Criminal Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Would the best be to just hire a lawyer? What kind of money are we talking about of course approximately ? Please advise...

 

Lisa

Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 5 years ago
Hi Lisa,

You are not going to have time to hire a lawyer by Monday unless you spot one in the courthouse whose work you like. But yes, I feel it's best that every criminal defendant have a lawyer. Kids particularly are prone to taking the easy way out of some situations, so if left to themselves they will resolve things so that they don't have to spend another day in court and then pay for that for years afterwards.

Lawyers charge based on what kind of time they will put in on a case. If the case is going all the way to trial, that means a lot of in court and out of court work, and even on a misdemeanor level the fee will be in the thousands. If on the other had, all the lawyer has to do is to negotiate an acceptable deal, the case will have a short life span and the charges will be reasonable. For an accurate ballpark figure for your part of the country, call the Florida State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. They are also a great place to start your search for an attorney if you don't know of anyone who practices criminal law.
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,675
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Verified
Zoey_ JD and 87 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,675
28,675 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

Zoey_ JD is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends.

NormaPensacola, FL

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

3,194 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

2,063 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

1,862 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Lawyer

1,815 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience

Nate

Nate

Lawyer

1,736 satisfied customers

Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.

Marsha411JD

Marsha411JD

Lawyer

1,631 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney with 29 yrs. exp. in criminal law

AttorneyTom

AttorneyTom

Lawyer

1,242 satisfied customers

Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Criminal Law Questions
Can someone release my criminal records to my employer?
Can someone release my criminal records to my employer? Also, can I sue my ex-girlfirend if she cause me a problem at my job by releasing my old record?… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,731 satisfied customers
My Husband has a criminal record of unlawful use of a weapon
My Husband has a criminal record of unlawful use of a weapon and possession. He did three years and was released August 2004. He served his probation and paid all fines. He has had no further criminal… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,675 satisfied customers
Sure - my bf lost his criminal trial on Wed and was
Sure - my bf lost his criminal trial on Wed and was convicted of two felony charges. At the end, the judge remanded him to custody for knowing/willful violation of his probation terms (for a civil dvr… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,087 satisfied customers
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has
In criminal court, I understand that when an accused has Clemency from the State Board of X that it can not be held against the accused.So what about in civil court?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,828 satisfied customers
In criminal law, if someone is awaiting sentencing of a
Second opinion] In criminal law, if someone is awaiting sentencing of a Federal Felony and I have evidence that should be considered by the sentencing Judge, how can one ensure the evidence is brought… read more
James Daloisio
James Daloisio
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
79 satisfied customers
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their
Is it not uncommon for criminal court judges or their court's administration (e.g. bailiffs) to manipulate the only clock on the wall in the courtroom (e.g. set it purposely ahead of or behind the act… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was
I had a criminal court hearing and was sentenced, but was never sworn in can this be thrown out… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,731 satisfied customers
If someone has multiple misdemeanors for theft and driving
If someone has multiple misdemeanors for theft and driving while barred. And is on probationAnd they leave the state Is there a time limit before they can return Or are they a fugitive and will. BE in… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,087 satisfied customers
What is the punishment for a class misdemeanor for theft of
what is the punishment for a class b misdemeanor for theft of lost or mislaid property for first time offender … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,087 satisfied customers
I have no criminal record, but recently discovered a
I have no criminal record, but recently discovered a committment order filed 13 years ago and sealed. I had attempted to buy a .22 pistol and was denied by NICS … read more
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B.
Juris Doctor
28,688 satisfied customers
I am currently in the process of getting my criminal record
Hello, I am currently in the process of getting my criminal record expunged (I have a misdemeanor drug charge from 2003). I am using EasyExpunctions.com for the expungement process. Regarding the peti… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,675 satisfied customers
During my Bench Trial in Federal Court on a misdemeanor
During my Bench Trial in Federal Court on a misdemeanor charge of Simple Assault, I testified in my own defense. I would have made a more aggressive defense, but I thought certain points were best lef… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,675 satisfied customers
Can I be prosecuted for exposing my ex's criminal record to
Can I be prosecuted for exposing my ex's criminal record to his HR manager if sent anomously?… read more
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
28,675 satisfied customers
I have been charged with a misdemeanor for retail theft, and
I have been charged with a misdemeanor for retail theft, and when I showed up for my court date, the judge rescheduled my court date and told me to get a lawyer. Should I go with a lawyer or a public … read more
LegalPro54
LegalPro54
Doctoral Degree
1,258 satisfied customers
Have previous criminal record in NM with deferred sentence
Have previous criminal record in NM with deferred sentence for soliciting a prostitute in 1998. Would like to have this record sealed or "expunged " . Was told I could apply to court to have this done… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
3,194 satisfied customers
I have a criminal record dating back to 1984 in Maine when I
i have a criminal record dating back to 1984 in Maine when I sold a 1/4gram of powdered cocaine to an undercover police officer I met in a bar in Portland. But since we made the actual transaction in … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I would like to find out if my criminal record has been
I would like to find out if my criminal record has been exponged. I want to travel to Canada in august … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
3,194 satisfied customers
Will child abuse cases show up on a criminal record in
Will child abuse cases show up on a criminal record in Japan? I know they don't have a child abuse registry so was wondering if a criminal record search was conducted, if that type of record will show… read more
KJL LAW
KJL LAW
Juris Doctorate
1,754 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x