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Do i need a criminal defense attorney.

Orlando, FL |

I am 16 years of age and was recentley arrested for stealing a bike.I was charged with burglary of a dwelling.Petit theft and loitering and prowling this is my first offense ever.i have never been charged with anything nor ever been was a dumb decision.i served 21 days in the orlando juvenile detention center. i was released to my mother and now awaiting my court date that is approaching rapidly.I would like to know the consequences i should be expecting. again i say this is my first offense ever....So i would like to know what im up against.

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Attorney answers 3


Being charged with a crime is a very serious matter. I highly recommend hiring a competent criminal defense attorney in your area to handle this matter for you.


You will need a lawyer and one will be appointed if you do not hire one. If you hire one, you'll need one with experience in the juvenile court system.
I would say you need to get together mitigation, anything that speaks well of you (good report cards, school award, letters from coaches, church people, employers, family, friends attesting to your normally good character and family, etc.) and get them to your lawyer.

I'm not sure what your present case status could be: The state had to bring you to trial within 21 days, so either that was waived already or you plead or had a trial and await disposition. If so, there will be an interview for a report that will recommend a disposition. Attend the interview, cooperate, bring your mitigation.

As it is your first offense, you may get off lightly. But burg. to a dwelling is a serious "quality of life" charge and the victims input could have a large affect. Likely, the worst you'll face is a minimum risk program and the best is probation. Speak to your public defender or other lawyer about these things.


Don't compound a bad decision with another one. You definitely need to hire an attorney if you and your parents can afford to or, if you are indigent, you need to apply for the services of the Public Defender. Your attorney will guide you through what to expect out of the juvenile justice system and will review your case to determine whether or not the state can prove it. Good luck.

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