Yesterday, I was charged with a criminal citation at my job as a cashier for theft under $1000.
Penalty stated was "$500 18 months," and have yet to be issued a court date in the mail.
Seeing as this is my first offense as an adult, is there any possibility of negotiations for fine payment or qualification for community hours on the day of the court hearing.
This is my first time being caught up in a situation like this and I have no idea where to start
An attorney may be able to negotiate community service in exchange for probation before judgment, a stet, or nolle prossequi depending on the facts and circumstances. However, theft charges are taken very seriously. It will help that you have no prior record, but some judges are tougher than others and some prosecutors are more willing to cut deals like this than others. You should be prepared to make restitution in full by the court date. Do not try to represent yourself.
This answer is being given for general informational purposes only and is not protected by the attorney-client privilege since this is a public forum. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. No communications with me on this forum shall be construed as arising out of an attorney-client relationship. If a client needs specific legal advice or opinions, he or she should retain counsel for advice or to undertake representation.
Yes you can try to negotiate with the prosecutor but in reality you will not get the same treatment as you would if you have a lawyer. Besides without a solid legal analysis who knows if they even have a case against you? Advice on where to start is always the same: get the best lawyer you can possibly afford.
You should hire an attorney to represent you in this matter. An attorney can try to work out a deal with the State's Attorney where you will only have to pay a fine or complete community service hours. There is no guarantee as to a deal being agreed to, however.
You can try to negotiate, but no one can guarantee the outcome. Beware trying to negotiate on your own, because anything that you say might be used against you.
Information in the reply is provided as a public service. It is neither a comprehensive statement of the law nor legal advice, and no one should rely on it as such. If you have a legal problem or question, you should consult with an attorney, who can investigate the particular circumstances of your situation. Responding to a post does not constitute legal representation. I am not your lawyer, until we make an agreement and I receive my fee. Beware that posts and replies are not confidential. Anyone can read them.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline