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Should I plead guilty or no constest to felony embezzlement charges?

Chino, CA |

I am being charged with felony embezzlement by a previous employer, who has video and documents that show I stole from them. I plan to pay them full restitution, and they say Im liable for between $1900-$2000 dollars. Should I plead guilty or no contest? And with no prior record or charges of any kind, what kind of penalties can I expect? I need to get a public defender, but must enter a plea at my arraignment first to get on appointed to me. Is a plea bargain or deal still a possibility after having pleaded guilty or no contest?

Attorney Answers 4


Short answer is neither. At your arraignment, if you want to speak with an attorney (public defender) you need to enter a plea of not guilty so the court will appoint an attorney for you. From there you can discuss your case and possible defenses are arguments in mitigation. If you plead guilty or no contest (essentially the same thing in this case) there is no chance of a "plea bargain." You'll be forced to take whatever the court and prosecutor want you to take.

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If you enter guilty plea or no contest your opportunity to bargain is over. You should be appointed a public defender before case is called. Speak with them about the facts of your case, possible defenses, and a plea argeement. If your case is called and you have not yet been appointed a PD tell the judge you wish to have a pd.

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Do NOT plead guilty or no contest. Ask for an attorney. Your attorney can work towards a plea bargain, and if it is acceptable to you, your plea would be entered at that time. Your willingness to pay full restitution will be very helpful to your attorney in getting a good result.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

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The ONLY plea you should enter at your first court appearance is "Not Guilty". There may be ways to resolve the case for a lesser charge - perhaps all the way down to a non-theft offense and/or working out a resolution that doesn't result in a conviction.

If you plead guilty or no contest, you're guaranteeing a conviction on your record.

If you can afford to hire an attorney, do so before your first court date and discuss the case in detail with them. If you cannot afford an attorney, show up to court and request the services of a public defender.

Plea deals can be worked out at any time - absolutely no need to rush into one without first exploring your options... WITH an attorney.

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