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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
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Hello, I was a turist in Miami, Fl.. a week ago. I was in a

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Hello, I was a turist in Miami, Fl.. a week ago. I was in a store and apprehend me and my sister forretail thief (misdmeanor juvenile says in the citation) The products were 60$ for me and for my sister $100. I am worry because I dont know where to call or who to speak. I want to know if I have to go to court and what are my options. COuld you help me please. We were toursit in business trip, we trave a lot to USA and is our first time with this problem.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. How old are you and your sister? Were you arrested or just issued a citation?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We have 30 and 32 years old.

We were arrested in Dolphin Mall 1 week ago.



Thank you for the additional information. When you were arrested and released, you should have received paper work which had a court date written on it, which advises when you need to appear. If you did not receive anything, then you can contact the Miami-Dade County clerk of courts, criminal division and ask them if there is a date in the system yet, for when you need to appear. You can also search and check your name online. Here is the link. As a first time offender, the court may offer you a diversion program which you can enter into, to get the case dismissed. The problem is that if you are a tourist and are leaving, you may not be able to complete and comply with everything. This would be something that you need to bring to the attention of the State Attorney handling the case, if you want to take a plea and not go to trial. If it is an issue, you may be forced to accept a plea deal, pay a fine and close the case out. The State would likely withhold adjudication, which is not a conviction but would appear on your record, if someone did a background check or search. You have every legal right to fight this and make the State prove the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt, if you have defenses but if not, then you need to inquire about diversion or a plea deal, to resolve this. The most important thing is to make sure you appear for court. If you do not, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and if you try and leave/return to the US, you would be taken into custody.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above, prior to rating me. Also, please remember to rate my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two faces/stars on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the "REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION "button. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We received a yellow paper (Complaint/Arrest Affidavit) With the case no. 13040660 with a court ID Number/loc.code 0111(25) for me and 253(25) for my sister.
Can you check this info for us. We all ready put this info in the link you send me but I can gave me results.

There should be a date to appear on it. If not, notice will be sent to the address which you provided to the police, as to where you reside. It is possible that nothing came up as a result of the case not being filed and it not being in the system yet, which is why it is best to check every few days. If this happened last week, it may be another week or so before it gets filed.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. We will check every 2 days in the link you send us.

Can you tell us with are the penalties could involve this case? as you are the expert? We will have problems for the visa? This could take us to jail? We are very worry. Also, we need a lawyer? Note we are a tourist, where can I find a reliable and a good lawyer if we need it.

This is a misdemeanor crime and does carry with it the possibility of jail time. However, for a first time offender, the court will likely impose a fine, court costs, order that you not be allowed to go back to the store and may require you to perform community service. There should be no reason they seek any probation either. Seeing how you are a tourist and not familiar with the legal process, you should certainly retain an attorney. You can find an attorney by searching on a site like or You want a criminal defense attorney who handles cases in Miami-Dade county.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thank you for the information; however, I would like you to help me with the following questions:

1. If we can not get any lawyer from the site you send us, can I ask for one by the court house days before or the day we have the citation?

2. In your experience, for a misdmeanor case, can we solve this by paying the fine, court costs and any other expenses and how much do you think will be the fine and all the costs?

3. Also, how many days do we have to stay in Miami, Fl until we solve this?

4. Do you know how much that we have to pay for an attorney for this kind of case?

5. In your experience how this will end up? Because we really want to avoid jail time and visa problems.

The point is we really want to solve this problem because we travel a lot for business.

I will wait for your important response.

Thank you.

You are welcome.

1) If you do not retain private counsel, you can ask to be appointed the public defender when you appear in court, for the first time.

2) Yes, you could resolve this by entering a plea of no contest. The fine and court costs which are imposed should be around $300.

3)Every court date is normally set 30 days out. By that, I mean if you were to show up the first week in May and the matter was continued and you did not resolve it, you would likely need to appear back the first week of June. The dates are set by the Judge but normally 30 days later. This is why, if you need to go back home, you may have to resolve it when you first appear or ask the Judge for permission to leave and return. It is at your discretion, based upon how you want to handle this.

4) For a case like this, without a trial fee, I could see an attorney charging you each around $750, more or less.

5) With the court, I think this will end up with a fine, court costs and restitution, along with the court imposing a withheld of adjudication. In an ideal situation, you would be able to enter a diversion program so this would be dismissed but would have to ask about it and explain your situation when you appear. As far as the issue with your visa, that is something which an immigration attorney would have to inform you of, since this may have an effect.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok thank you. Also we have other questions:


1.- We do not have any private counsel, that is why we would like to know if we can ask for one at the courthouse when we appear in court, for the first time?


2.- Once we get a counsel at the courthouse (if it is possible) can we resolve this by entering a plea before any trial? The thing is that we do not want any trial at all.


3.- Could you explain to me what is the meaning of court imposing a withheld of adjudication?


4.- Also, as far as the issue with our visa, I don´t understand what did you mean with "immigration attorney would have to inform you of, since this may have an effect". does this mean that I have to ask for two attorneys? or this mean that this attorney we can find him in the courthouse and there we can make those questions regarding our visa?


Thank you, I will wait for your response.

When you appear, you can ask to be appointed the public defender. It would then be at the discretion of the Judge to appoint one, if you qualify. The reason I say this is because if you want to resolve this and/or the State offers a fine, court costs and a withheld of adjudication, then there may be no need for court appointed counsel since you are not being convicted, jailed or placed on probation. A withheld adjudication is not a conviction. It would appear on your record but if anyone asks you if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can truthfully say NO. Taking a plea and resolving this MAY have an effect on your visa but I can not guarantee it. You do not need an immigration attorney to necessarily represent you but you need to see if you can consult with one prior to, who will tell you if this will be an issue if you seek to return.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. I have other questions:


1.- It is been more than two weeks since we came from Miami and we have been checking the Miami Dade county clerk of the courts website in online services - Criminal Justice and Civil Infraction Cases - Case Information but we just found my sister´s case but with no information on dates hearing or anything, and for me there is no information yet.


I am trying to contact the Clerk's Office at (XXX) XXX-XXXX but it is impossible to talk to someone at customer service extension or any other number. Do you have another phone number we can call and ask for spanish help? maybe any mobile phone?


2.- How can we pay for the counsil services, court costs etc? can we pay in cash or can we use credit cards for it?


Thank you for your advice. I will wait for your response.

Here is the number that I have for the criminal court. 305-275-1155. If one of the parties is a juvenile/minor, then you would need to contact the juvenile clerk of court at the same number. If only a name is appearing now, it means the case has been filed and is waiting a Judge to be assigned the case. The juvenile case may not be listed online, so you would need to speak with someone over the phone to confirm where notice will be send. Any fees and costs can be paid in cash or credit card.