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What is Petit Larceny?

This usually involves the theft of money or an item of a small value. The intentional removal of one's property without their permission would also constitute this. The amount that would qualify varies from state to state and can be as little as $5 in some areas. Read below where Experts have answered questions regarding Petit Larceny.

How should one plead after being charged with Petit Larceny over a $15 item so that it will not go on a permanent record?

In a situation like this, you should always plead not guilty unless you are offered a diversion program or can manage to have the charge reduced to an infraction instead of a misdemeanor. If no deals are offered to better suit your situation, pleading guilty will give you a permanent record.

Considering the item that you took was $15, you should get through this without anything on your record. You should consult with an attorney about your options concerning this matter before you agree to anything on court record. If the expense of an attorney is not in your budget, you need to plead not guilty and ask the judge to appoint a public defender. If you want to take the “not guilty” plea back at a later date you will be given the opportunity, however, if you plead guilty, you won't be given the same option.

Can a person representing himself in court request an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD)?

Case Details: Individual cannot afford an attorney. Spouse makes too much money to qualify for a court appointed attorney.

Generally, an attorney is in court to protect your rights and make sure you get the fairest deal available. Although in most cases, it is best to have an attorney, many people choose to represent themselves. As far as the ACD goes, this is the mildest consequence one could receive after committing a crime, anything less would have to be a dismissal. As far as an ACD, the court is usually more concerned with a person's prior record and the amount of the items taken, rather than the person's admission of guilt. An ACD is used to address the fact that a person knows that they have made a mistake and the likely hood that it will happen again is very minimal. It is a chance to start over after making a huge mistake in judgment.

In New York, should a person attain a lawyer for a Petit Larceny charge?

Petit Larceny is a Class A misdemeanor in New York and a person could receive up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1000. The punishment will depend greatly on the crime committed and if he has a prior record. If this is a first offense, the chance of jail time is going to be low. It is always a good idea to have an attorney representing you in court. If you choose to use a criminal defense lawyer, they would be best suited to work out an agreement with the prosecuting attorney in order to give you the best outcome.

If you do hire an attorney, they would probably ask for an ACD. This is generally used for first-time offenders. If you agree to the terms of the ACD, your case will be dismissed and sealed after six months. However, if you break the law or repeat the crime within the six months, the prosecutor has the right to re-open your case and charge you with the original charges of the case.

If a person has not contacted a public defender in time, will charges be worse even though restitution was paid and the store manager did not show for court?

It is unlikely that you will be handed a larger sentence for not contacting the public defender. However, you need to contact the public defender before the court date and let them know that you are qualified to receive their representation. If you fail to do this, the court could deny you a public defender and make you to hire an attorney.

Because you have already paid your restitution to the store, your attorney may be able to have charges dismissed or lessened since the store manager never showed and you are a first time offender.

Petit larceny is among the more common criminal offenses. However, not everyone faced with a petit larceny situation – offenders and victims – are aware of the legal provisions, rights and limitations of the law. The only way to safeguard your legal interest is to be informed of petit larceny laws. Asking an Expert for legal insights based on an assessment of your situation would be one way to arm yourself with this knowledge.

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