My bestfriend and I made a trip to Walmart and tried to steal about $40 or $45 worth of merchandise (put together) and now have court on Friday. We're scared out of our minds. This is both of our first offenses and we're 18. They charged us with petit larceny. We're clueless as to what to expect in the courtroom this Friday. PLEASE HELP!!
If this is your first court appearance, then it will probably be an arraignment where the first question the judge will ask is what you want to do with regards to an atorrney . Tell the judge you want an attorney. if you can't afford an attorney the judge will
determine if you qualify for.court appointed counsel. If not, you will have to hire your own attorney. Some jurisdictions will incarcerate you even for a first offense (it.may only be a day or two but it does happen).
Do not proceed without an attorney and you can discuss the consequences in full detail.
It is probably the arraignment on friday, at which you should plead not guilty. That is NOT GUILTY. Try to get a private criminal defense attorney for each of you.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.
Stop admitting to crimes in public.
Hire a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Stay off any social media.
A conviction will be for life and will screw up your employment options.
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Friday will be an arraignment in which you will be notified of the charges against you, asked what your plea is and whether you would like to hire and attorney and notified of your new court/trial date.
In the meantime, you should seek a knowledgeable local attorney and do not make any more admissions or statements of guilt on forums like this.
None of what you wrote on Avvo is considered privileged or confidential. Only when meeting with an attorney, whether you hire them or not, are your conversations confidential.
Agreed with others in terms of getting an attorney, especially since you are against Walmart. In my experience, Walmart takes loss prevention very seriously. They have eyes everywhere - some plain clothes loss prevention agents, cameras and the like. The loss prevention officers who show up at trial typically ask that you be banned from all Virginia Walmarts for life. Depending on the jurisdiction you are in, you may have to pull some time in jail and pay a fine. Get an attorney, either court appointed or retained.
My answer is based on limited facts provided in this question and does not constitute legal advice. I am not creating an attorney-client relationship based on this response but am merely offering my two cents.
You don't plead at the arraignment in Virginia. You won't do anything except be advised about your right to counsel. Don't lie on the court appointed counsel form if you fill one out. You've probably already admitted everything to the police after waiving your Miranda rights, so talking on this forum is the least of your concerns. Good luck.
Consult with an experienced defense attorney who can guide you through the process in your local court. Each jurisdiction treats first time offenders differently and you need an attorney who understand how to achieve the best possible results.
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