How do I plead on my petty theft charges?

Asked over 1 year ago - Chillicothe, OH

I made a horrible decision today and am being charged with petty theft. I was arrested today and bonded out with a court date tomorrow at 9am. I don't have time or the means to find an attorney. They have video evidence, and I'm not trying to get out of it. However, this is my first offense and I am a nurse concerned with my career. I know I should have been thinking of that at the time, and am willing to apologize, pay fines, community service anything but jail time.

Additional information

The item stolen was 8.99

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Dennis Armand DiMartino

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . Follow these instructions to the letter. When you go to your Arraignment tomorrow, greet the Judge with a hearty "Good morning, Your Honor. I am well aware of this charge, so you don't have to read the charge to me. Your Honor, I enter a plea of NOT GUILTY to it. I am asking you to please consider letting me go on my own recognizance. I have never been in trouble before. I absolutely guarantee you I will return to your Courtroom whenever you order me to do so, Judge. Thank you!"

    Yeah, I know that there is strong evidence against you. Nonetheless, enter a NOT GUILTY plea. Period.

    Doing so will stall the clock out for a few months on this case, which will give you the time necessary to find a good lawyer to represent you. You absolutely need a lawyer, as you probably cannot resolve the case on your own to the same degree that a competent lawyer can. You wouldn't advise someone to stitch themselves up in the ER, would you?

    As a nurse, you absolutely SHOULD be considered with how this case can affect your career. A lawyer can represent you much more effectively than you can on your own, so don't even think that begging, pleading, etc. will get you out of it. Just hire a lawyer and let her/him handle the way the case is resolved.

    I hope this answers your questions. Good luck in the case and beyond!

    Atty. Dennis A. DiMartino
    Youngstown, Ohio

    The above information is shared for educational and discussion purposes only. No Attorney-Client relationship is... more
  2. Amanda Ackerman Condon

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . I respectfully disagree. This is a charge that carries up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1000 fine. This person could also lose their job over this conviction in Ohio! A public defender could be appointed if you meet the statutory guidelines. And not all courts, in fact most in my experience do not have prosecutors available at an initial appearance!
    Plead not guilty and hire an attorney or ask to have one appointed. You may not qualify for a public defender as there are statutory guidelines relating to your income.
    I would recommend you say as little in possible during your appearance. Be polite, show respect and plead not guilty. Nothing else is necessary when speaking to the judge or magistrate.

    Amanda Ackerman Condon
    Piscitelli Law Firm
    Cleveland, Ohio 44143
    (216) 931-7000
    amanda@feplaw.com
    www.forjusticenow.com

    This response is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  3. Christopher Lee Beck

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . One show up to court and plead not guilty. You then need to find some way to hire an attorney. A theft conviction can be fatal to a nurse's career. Many attorneys will make a payment plan with you. Do not talk to anyone about the case other than the attorney you retain.

    Attorney Chris Beck
    Beck Law Office, L.L.C.
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    (937)510-6110 phone
    attycbeck@gmail.com
    www.becklawofficellc.com

    The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client... more
  4. Benjamin J Partee

    Contributor Level 8

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    Answered . Assuming you haven't already entered a plea, you need to get counsel. Our judges in Chillicothe will, of course, treat you fairly and with respect, but it's very important that you have someone experienced to represent your interests. If you ask for a continuance, our judges will grant your request. If you've already entered a plea, then hire counsel before your next hearing date.

    You should be aware that a charge like this could have an impact on your license, as well as future prospects. The good news is that a competent defense attorney will know how to take advantage of certain programs available to avoid these problems.

  5. Daniel Nelson Deasy

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . Walk into the courthouse. You will most lokely see a prosecutor. Tell him/her you want to plead guilty.

    Of course, I have to ask, why would you ever just want to do that? At a minimum, ask for a pleas disposition offer that gives you the chance to have this bad decision taken off your record at some point!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship.... more

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