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I just recently got charged with 5th degree theft and the…

Second opinion] I just...

Second opinion] I just recently got charged with 5th degree theft and the amount of the products was less than 50 dollars. My court date is in about 2 weeks and I was wondering if I need a lawyer or if I’m going to jail or what. I’m just really overwhelmed

Lawyer's Assistant: Do you have any upcoming court dates on the theft charges?

Yeah, it’s january 23rd

Lawyer's Assistant: In what state did the theft occur?

Iowa

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not really

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Answered in 1 hour by:
1/14/2018
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,144
Experience: Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
Verified

Good evening, I am a Criminal Defense attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office, and I'll be answering your questions today. Keep in mind this is for informational purposes only and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

Under Iowa state law theft in the 5th degree is a simple misdemeanor.

It's punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $650.

That being said, that it the maximum possible sentence. Other possibilities include probation, community service, or just a lesser fine.

If this is your first criminal offense ever, then jail time is very unlikely.

In fact if it's your first offense, you qualify for pre trial diversion which usually requires some community service, attending some classes, and/or a fine. Then upon successful completion of the program the charges against you are dismissed.

A lawyer is always advisable. If you can't afford to hire a private defense attorney, a public defender should be appointed to you at your first court date.

I hope that helps!

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more (5 stars are always appreciated). The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
This is my first offense ever so I am just really scared because I don’t want to go to jail I’m just worried. Do you mean by if I complete the pre trial diversion if it is a choice I have, then would the offense show up on my record? Sorry if this is a dumb question.

Yes, it will still show up on your record, but it would also state dismissed (as opposed to a conviction, etc.) for the final case disposition, if you do get enrolled and do successfully complete the program.

Since this is your first offense, jail time is very unlikely.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you still have any questions.

​Please take a moment to leave a positive rating for me, 5 stars are always appreciated, thanks!

Nisha Jones, Esq.
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,144
Experience: Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
Verified
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