First offense shoplifting 58$, do i need a lawyer to protect me?

Asked over 2 years ago - San Bernardino, CA

today i got caught shoplifting 4 items reaching the total of 58$, the Loss Prevention of H&M clothing store waited for me outside of another store and took me back to their store, calling the cops and processed me, they released me and now i have to go to court...will i be okay if i went by myself considering its my first offense I'm only 20 they should go pretty easy? or should I get a public defender or a lawyer?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Andrew Stephen Roberts

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need an attorney . There are many alternative sentences that could possibly reduce or eliminate this charge. A theft conviction has long lasting effects. Anything you can do to minimize this is a step in the right direction. Call me with any questions.

    Andrew Roberts
    (818) 597-0633

  2. Benjamin J Lieberman

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . I strongly suggest that you retain an attorney. If you show up without an attorney, the prosecution may not offer you the same disposition as s/he would an attorney. On the same note you probably aren't familiar with what your options even are. An attorney could possibly save you from a criminal conviction that can have long lasting effects. Dont try to go at this alone. You may also receive a letter in the mail from a law firm or collection agency demanding that you pay them money. This letter is a civil demand letter. You don't owe them anything. In order for you to owe them something they would have to sue you and win. Doing so would cost them more than they can ever hope to recover and as such they usually don't pursue it. They send out these letters hoping that you don't know better and simply send them money. I generally advise clients to ignore these letters. Don't worry, nothing will happen to you for ignoring it. Paying it or not paying it will have no bearing on the criminal case.

  3. Robert C. LeBrasseur

    Contributor Level 14

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are almost always better of with an attorney assist you. Although "they should go pretty easy" you are 20 years old and hopefully have a long future ahead of you. A theft conviction will affect that future. It is a crime of dishonesty and something potential employers frown upon. A lawyer might be able to assist you in avoiding a conviction.

    My response to your question is a generic response and should not be construed as controlling to your case. I can... more
  4. Elliot Rahmim Zarabi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Always a good idea to have a lawyer.

    Read my guide, it's short an very informative.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/petty-thef...

    If you have any questions and would like a free consultation, give me a call.

    Elliot Zarabi
    www.zarabilaw.com
    213-612-7720

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