I have court at 9 am this morn. I have a state defense attorney. Would I do better to get a criminal defense attorney?

Asked over 2 years ago - Wildwood, FL

I have been charged with retail grand theft of about $300 from a wal__rt. there are many inconsistances in all the reports. things that were incorect, and other things added to or completely left out.i don't have time to get into all the details now because i have to leave soon. but currently my deal is 2 years of probation. my wife and i do not believe what was taken was over $300, the store claims it was $370. that would be true ,but from what I understand about the fl statuate is that the retailer must go by price of the items on the day they were taken. all the itemswere on sale or clearence before christmas when i allegedly took them. which puts there value around $250. should I ask for and get and actual defense attorney or just stick with the state attorney. ican't afford a felony.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Amanda Powers Sellers

    Contributor Level 10

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As a former Assistant Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, I can say without a doubt that I worked with some of the most brilliant criminal defense attorneys in the state of Florida. However, like all professions, private and public, there are good lawyers and there are bad lawyers. You should feel comfortable with who you ultimately choose to represent you. Additionally, if you can afford to hire an attorney, you should do so because the court appointed lawyers should only be utilized if you can not afford to hire someone in the private sector.

    As for your charge, if you are a first time offender, you may be elligible for a pre-trial intervention program. If you successfully complete this program, your charge may be dismissed.

    You may want to talk to a private defense attorney about your options for sealing and expunction. The decisions you make now with your court appointed attorney on your charges will have an effect on your ability to take advantage of these options. Court appointed attorneys typically do not advise clients on this issue as it is outside the scope of their representation. Best of luck!

    This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney... more
  2. James Regan

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . As a former prosecutor, I can tell you that all plea negotiations must be on the record with a 'pro se' defendant. Also, the prosecutor is not going to want to discuss these jury questions with a 'pro se' defendant. You need a public defender or private attorney to engage in discovery for you, to negotiate a favorable plea bargain or to try the case and settle these questions of fact. Use Avvo to find an attorneys in your county. Interview them all and hire the one you are most comfortable with.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  3. Jonathan Burton Blecher

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are many very good Public Defenders, but many assigned to cases like your would have less experience. This isn't to say you won't get a fair shake, but private attorneys generally have more time to work on these cases.

  4. David P. Gilbert

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Get the best attorney you can afford.

    Avvo.com answers provided solely for informational purposes. Answers are not legal advice and should not be relied... more

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