Scared to death. What will Judge ask me at shoplifting arraignment?

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

First, thank you all who read this and offer help. So I (19 years old) shoplifted, got caught, got arrested and now my first court appearance is in a month. I know I will have to plead guilty (which I will because it is true, I stole, and I have to take responsibility). They will tell me my rights. But will the judge ask me questions like "Are you in school? Are you close to your family? Why did you steal? Have you done it before? What do you think your punishment should be?" I would really like a chance to tell them i'm a good person who made a stupid mistake, but they probably don't care. Also, this was my first offense and I'm scared I've ruined my life. Will this go on my permanent record??? PLEASE HELP I CAN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT MY MISTAKES AND HOW I'VE RUINED MY LIFE FOR EVER

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Joseph A Lo Piccolo

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . OK--take a breath. You made a mistake and will have to deal with it. If you can afford an attorney, consider hiring one. If you can't, the court will appoint one for you. The judge may ask questions of you 1st to see if you qualify but otherwise, he will not ask you about yourself or the facts of the case.
    An attorney handling your case, hired by you or appointed by the court, will negotiate this case down to a lesser charge so you do not face a permanent record. Standard penalties are fines and/or community service.
    Good Luck!!

    I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a... more
  2. Edwin Drantivy

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should speak with a criminal defense lawyer, he/she will help you. Your life is not over if you have no prior criminal history. You will be given a chance by the judge to make a statement. Discuss the contents of your statement prior to making the statement.

  3. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You do NOT have to plead guilty. You can walk away from this without a record. Hire a good criminal defense lawyer.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  4. Mark Jon Wieczorek

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Typically, arraignment will consist of the charges being read in open court. However, you can waive reading and stipulate that there was probable cause to arrest you. Most likely the judge will only ask what your initial plea to the charge is. The options, in Ohio, are guilty, not guilty and no contest.

    Keep in mind that before you enter into any plea, it is best to consult with a licensed attorney who has extensive criminal experience. He or she will be able to evaluate the case and make some recommendations based on the strengths and weaknesses of the State's case.

    Further, keep in mind that the offense, if convicted, may not be eligible for an expungement in your home state. This is yet one additional reason why it is best to hire legal counsel to discuss the ramifications a theft conviction could have on your future.

Related Topics

Criminal defense

Criminal law establishes the classifications of crimes, how guilt or innocence is determined, and the types of punishment or rehabilitation that may be imposed.

Criminal charges

Criminal charges are formal accusations in court that someone has committed a crime. Criminal charges have many classifications and degrees of severity.

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