I have a pre trial hearing on Tuesday ....

Asked over 2 years ago - Davison, MI

In flint Michigan because I told the judge at my arraignment that I'm on disability and CAN NOT afford an attorney ...I was charged with retail fraud in the 3rd degree and had to pay 10% of a 4000.00 bond....my question is...should I find an attorney of my own and talk to them before Tuesday or take my chances with a court appointed attorney ...I recognize I have a serious problem and I want to get help ...I'm terrified of going to jail...I had to spend the afternoon and evening there til I could get my friend to bond me out..I won't last a day in there let alone a month....any suggestions or referrals would be helpful thanks

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Daniel P. Hilf

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . You should take the time to call some criminal defense lawyers to discuss your case if you have the ability to hire a lawyer. You seem to be under a lot of stress, and perhaps if you met with a lawyer that you liked and hired you might feel better about your situation. Many lawyers are more affordable than you might think. Sometimes an agreement can be made for installment payments or credit card payment that will help you have the services of a lawyer that you can trust. If you can't hire a lawyer, you should qualify for a Court appointed lawyer to help you. Good luck.

  2. Kevin Bessant

    Pro

    Contributor Level 9

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    Answered . Although there are many misperceptions of the skill set and abilities of a " court appointed" attorney, you ultimately have to decide which route you feel most comfortable with. If this is your first offense, the odds of you doing any jail time is slim. If you plead guilty to retail fraud you will likely receive probation, however this is no guarantee as every case is different based upon the facts of that case. Call around to few criminal defense attorney's in your area and describe your case to them and then make a determination as to whether you want to retain counsel or be appointed counsel.

  3. Ronald S. Pichlik

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . There are good lawyers who accept court appointed cases. If funds are an issue you should at least meet and speak with a court appointed lawyer. If your not happy with him or her and can come up with the money you can always hire an attorney of your own choosing later.

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