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Could a person represent themselves regarding a shoplifting case under $50 from Walmart?

Houston, TX |

First offense, no prior history of any type and has applied for military. Lawyers cost so much but worried this will affect the enlistment process also. The item was in a purse and she had gone thru 1st set of doors but had not exited the last set of doors leaving the store. I told her we may be able to resolve this ourselves in court due to costs of a lawyer but don't want to affect her future.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Hire a lawyer. Do whatever you have to come up with the money. It shouldn't be too much for this type of scenario but you don't want this to follow the person the rest of their life. Theft convictions will haunt you forever. Trust me. If I had a $1 for every client who comes in asking me how to get rid of their 20 year old theft conviction only for me to stay "we can't do anything about that now."

    Now is the time to take care of it.

    Good Luck!

    Leighton D'Antoni
    Attorney at Law

    Law Offices of Leighton D'Antoni
    Founders Square
    900 Jackson St. Suite 750
    Dallas, TX 75202
    (214) 960-9360 (phone)
    (214) 666-3901 (fax)

    *licensed to practice law in the States of Texas and California

    This response is NOT legal advice and we do not have an attorney client relationship. You should only follow legal advice from your own attorney.

  2. It is never a smart idea trying to navigate the criminal justice system alone. You need a lawyer. If you cannot afford one the court will appoint one for you free of charge. Don't say or do anything without an attorney.

  3. The military is not currently recruiting thieves. If you are convicted of theft, you will be labeled a thief. Are you permitted to handle the case yourself? Sure. Should you handle the case yourself? There's a saying that goes like this, "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." Are you even knowledgeable in the field of criminal law. Sure, lawyers cost money. But, how much do you lose if there's some way to get out of a theft conviction that you don't know about and the lawyer does?

    Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.