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Can I get an extension on a hearing for a petty theft charge if i already attended the first hearing,and pled not guilty?

Van Nuys, CA |

The petty theft charge is from 1/31/13.I got arrested then OR'd & had my first hearing on 3/1. I pled not guilty- to extend the hearing further as they were offering me 2 yrs probation & 20 days community service. Problem is i'm on felony probation in San Diego where i live. I had to tell the public defender about my status & she advised me NOT to take the deal & consult an attorney. If i pled guilty at that hearing she said that SD would find out as they run a check every few months & i'd get probation violation. I need Legal advice & help! I screwed up & made a bad choice. Now i'm working full time,been attending outpatient treatment 3x/week since 1st week of Feb.&parenting classes once a week.I need to get my April 1st hearing extended & get legal help.Can anyone help?

I'm an addict in recovery, I was trying hard to pull myself together and I made a STUPID choice, it was my only petty theft charge. Though i have identity fraud & grand theft which is why i'm on probation. It's the only jail time i've ever done,3 months on those charges in 2011. I have a 5 month old baby & i've finally gotten my life on track. I'm desperate for help. I don't want to lose this great job i have now,and the many hours a week i've been dedicating to outpatient. What are my chances of staying out of jail?

Attorney Answers 4


You need to hire a local criminal attorney or work with your public defender. Your attorney will know more about both of your matters than anyone here. Good luck.

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Well I can speak about the Petty Theft. I was a Prosecutor in Van Nuys for many years. If you picked up your case in LA, even if you are dead to rights guilty and it's just Petty Theft the possibility of any substantial jail in LA isn't great. Your problem of course is your record and your probation. In theory you can be fully acquitted of the charge and still violate probation since the standard of proof is lower. So without a full review of your entire history, the current case and the terms and conditions of your probation it would be impossible in the context of this forum to give you a guarantee about jail time.

I agree not to take the deal. But that means you need to be prepared to win your trial. The City Attorney doesn't just walk away from these cases. A conviction would mean an almost certain violation or probation. If you are protecting a job and a family, you should find a way to invest in private counsel. It doesn't have to break the bank but you will not get much time out of the PD.

Similarly an LA based PD will not be able to represent you in San Diego and you would be well served to have an attorney who can handle both matters in both counties. We can do that. If youd like a free consult give a ring.

Brian Michaels
Southern California Criminal Defense Attorney

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Was your 2011 attorney in San Diego a public defender? If so I would contact them ASAP to ask them. Your real concern is what will a new conviction mean for your San Diego felony probation which is why I suggest you contact your prior attorney. Your Van Nuys public defender can probably continue that case while you figure this out. Good luck.

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The problem you face is not going to disappear purely by extending out your new matter. The probation violation dates back to when the new offense was committed, regardless of when the new case resolves.

There may be potential defenses to the new case that are worth exploring (although, technically, merely picking up a new charge is a violation). Keep doing what you're doing as it is proof positive of your desire to turn your life around.

Call me to discuss this matter further. You should not be posting too many facts - and certainly no admissions - on a public forum like this.

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