I'm very ashamed of the situation but I attempted to steal some thanksgiving stuff from a store because I'm have very little money, I didn't know how else to have a thanksgiving and it was a lapse in judgement, I've never done anything like this and I'm terrified I will end up losing my job and not being able to get another one that will cover my bills. I've read about Florida's pretrial intervention program but I have no idea how to sign up for it and this could end up making a bad situation completely bleak. If anyone can help out with this or any other options that I may just not know about then please let me know.
Sure thing. First go to arraignment, then ask the judge for a public defender. Ask the public defender if there is a diversion or intervention program and see if the PD can get you in one. Of course a private lawyer can do the same and avoid you going to court in many cases so if you can find some money hire someone.
I agree with the other gentlemen, but I would add that if you go to arraignment by yourself, please only say, not guilty, and that you need the Public Defender appointed. Please do not try to "talk your way out of it" at arraignment. I have watched too many people talk their way into jail.
I agree with the other attorneys. Request a public defender and request admission into a pre trial intervention program at arraignment. Usually the state attorneys office will nail you a letter offering PTI with instruction on how to sign up. Once you complete PTI your charge will be dropped and you can petition the court to expunge your record. Good luck.
All the other answers are fine, I write to add that the new policy in Duval is for PTI offers to be made in court, making you wait until the decision has already been made. Therefore, it will be extremely helpful to have a private attorney who can make your case long before someone else makes a decision that affects you.
I don't know your history, but your case sounds particularly suited to PTI provided you have no prior criminal history. I understand that money is tight - but call for a free consult if you have any further questions.
You need to make sure you don't go to court unprepared. Either sign up for the PD before the court date, or go talk to a private defense lawyer and get them working on the diversion offer. You should be eligible, but because the pretrial diversion program is not an absolute right, don't call it a done deal until you've signed the contact. In other words, get with a lawyer early and you should be ok.
First of all, I applaud you for seeking advice in this matter. State attorneys make the decision to offer Pretrial Intervention, and often if they don't, they end up filing charges before arraignment. Once that happens, there is a strong possibility that the PTI won't be on the table as an option. Unfortunately, the Public Defender's Office may not get to it until arraignment. If you are very serious about this, you should retain an attorney to contact the State Attorney's Office as quickly as possible to discuss this as an option. Often, an attorney can explain mitigating factors to the State Attorney before they have made their filing decision. I do agree that if you are able to reach your Public Defender, he or she may be able to tell you if that is already an offer made by the State Attorney, and this would save you the cost of retaining a private lawyer. If all else fails, I offer a free consultation. Good luck!
You already have answers from five excellent Florida lawyers more familiar with your courts and laws than any out-of-state lawyer can be.
I am writing to concur that you want to be proactive on this. When you get to the arraignment do not say anything other than that you plead not guilty and want a lawyer.
Also, you may get a letter from a law firm for the store. Read the links below about civil demand letters and keep a reference to them in case you get such a letter.
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