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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33370
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I was in the self check out line and i didn't ring up

Customer Question

I was in the self check out line and i didn't ring up everything that was in my cart. I only scanned some of the items in my cart. However I bagged everything as if I had paid for it all. As I was walking out I was stop by loss prevention. The amount of stuff I didn't pay for was 51 dollars and some change. I was given a court date and sent home because this is my first offense. I'm so nervous I don't know what to expect. I don't have enough money for a lawyer. Any advice would help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

First, don't talk to anyone about this. If the police want to talk to you, etc. don't do it.

Second, ask for a court appointed lawyer. You will want to call the clerk of court and ask them the procedure for doing that, some judges want you to fill out the paperwork ahead of time while others want you to come to court and do it. While they may make you a plea bargain offer without a lawyer you need a lawyer to look it over and see if they can get you a better offer. It's better if you can hire a lawyer but if you can't then a court appointed lawyer is much better than not having one at all. You probably ought to call around and get some prices for private lawyers because many judges will ask you if you've done that and if you haven't they'll ask "How do you know you can't afford one if you don't know how much they cost?"

Third, be on time for everything. Nothing make a judge madder than for people to be late.

If this is your first offense you will almost certainly be offered probation as a plea bargain so it is a matter of how long you will be on probation.

Those are the only really important points other than, of course, don't get into any more trouble while you are on probation. They're not likely to ask you why you did it but you may want to discuss that with your lawyer so you can have an answer ready if they do. The lawyer will know that judge and will be able to tell you exactly how the plea bargain or trial process works in that judge's court.