A private attorney will have much more time to devote to you and your case than a public defender. You can use avvo to find a few that are local, and most will offer a free consultation. Hiring one will give you the best chance of beating the case and/or mitigating the charges and punishment you are facing. Good luck.
First of all, STOP POSTING DETAILS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED HERE. This is a non-confidential public forum so don't say any more details of what happened.
If you are feeling anxious about this, then yes, you need to hire a private attorney. You can call me; there are also many qualified attorneys you will find through this website. Your concern for your future records means you should find someone who has the time to put in the effort on this kind of case. For lack of a better way of putting it-- and this is NOT a knock on public defenders-- a court-appointed attorney will not have the time to explain everything that's happening to you and meet with you at any length to discuss potential defenses and future consequences of this kind of case.
Feel free to call for a no-cost consultation, or contact other attorneys via Avvo.
Any answer provided on Avvo, including this one, is a general answer about a legal question, not specific legal advice. Different lawyers may analyze this or any other matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I licensed in the state of California and the Central District of the Ninth Circuit.
My colleagues are correct, you need an attorney and stop posting details of your case.
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Hire an attorney asap. A private attorney can begin working on your case immediately and may be able to get the filing DA to agree not to file charges. If you wait and get the public defender this means that charges will already be filed. Additionally, if you hire a private attorney that attorney will make all your court appearances for you while with the public defender you will be obligated to attend court. Finally, most misdemeanor public defenders handle hundreds of cases simultaneously and often appear for each other when one has a trial or takes vacation so you may see several different attorneys before your case is resolved (I used to be a public defender and was zealous and most are but they are saddled with enormous caseloads). Hire an attorney for the best outcome. Best of luck.
You need to hire an attorney. Alhramba Courthouse is one of the toughest courthouses in Los Angeles County. There is a good chance they could elevate this case to a felony Commercial Burglary. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Give me a call if you would like a consultation.
This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.
It in large part depends on the value of what you stole, as this may determine whether it be pled down to an infraction versus looking at an actual misdemeanor conviction. Either way, you want to attack it prefile stage (i.e get some character reference letters/statements together and get it to a deputy filing DA ASAP, one from your aunt may especially prove critical)
Your case can be resolved by a dismissal or converting to an infraction by a professional, a lawyer. Trust me, you don't want to have a petty theft in your background. That will do so much bad to your future as far as finding a job, school, and etc. Public lawyers are good but they are way too busy and they will not devote the time your case needs, but a private lawyer has more time to come up with a good plan and get the best results for your case.
You really need a competent, experienced lawyer to help you navigate through this issue. Theft cases can have a devastating effect on your life and future, even if a misdemeanor. Often, an attorney might be able to assist you resolve this by way of civil compromise or other means. Your best bet is to invest in a good attorney.
object of the exercise is to get them to either leave you alone or find you not guilty. A public defender will process your case; a private attorney will FIGHT for you.
Hire a local attorney without delay. Don't spare any expense. You didn't say if you were a minor. Your Aunt's possible forcing you to carry something for her is important if you are a minor and were forced by the aunt.
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Please be careful in what details you post online. Even though your name is not listed here that does not mean that law enforcement will not be able to connect you to this post.
As far as an attorney, cost is a major consideration. Hiring counsel can be very expensive. I have great respect for public defenders. They will advocate for you to the best of their ability once they get your case. They often have stronger relationships with the prosecutor that might be against you since they are in court with that person every day.
However, if you wait for counsel to be assigned then that means the case has already been filed. A major advantage of hiring private counsel is possibly nipping the case in the bud by having your lawyer contact law enforcement or the prosecutor to avoid a filing or mitigate what charges are actually brought. And private attorneys often can devote more time and care to the case since we handle fewer cases and our businesses depend on impressing clients with how hard we fight for them.
A petty theft conviction can have serious repercussions beyond the direct consequences of court including making difficult to find employment. Extra cost now may pay off mightily if filing can be avoided or consequences otherwise mitigated.
You should act quickly and consult with some local attorneys who specialize in criminal defense to see if you can afford one.
Public Defenders are (usually) excellent attorneys who have dedicated their lives to criminal law. They are not second-hand lawyers, they are great. However, Public Defenders are extremely busy. When you show up for your arraignment, you will be 1 of 50 clients they help that day. Moreover, you will likely get a different public defender for your next hearing. On the other hand, If you go with a private attorney, you will also get excellent service. Not only that, but you will have an attorney who knows you personally, who understands every detail of your case, and can walk you through your case every step of the way. Either way, do not make the mistake of representing yourself. The criminal justice system is complex and it is best to have an advocate on your side who knows the system.