Start by looking up your case in the Miami dade clerk of court website - www.miami-dadeclerk.com. See what it says. If you still have questions, just go down to the criminal courthouse and go to the clerk's office for more information.
Within 2-3 weeks after an arrest, the Clerk's Office will mail a court notice to you at the address you gave to the police/jail when you were arrested.You need to make certain that the Clerk has the correct address, because if you don't show up in court the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
There are Clerk's Offices around the county: North Dade, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Civic Center, Coral Gables and South Dade.
When you do to court you may be eligible for a program where you don't have to plead guilty, but instead attend a class or two about why stealing is bad, pay a program fee and maybe some community service hours. The prosecutor should make this available to you at he first court hearing, which is called the "arraignment".
Once you complete the program you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged.
Every case and situation is different and my answers will vary greatly depending on the specific facts of each one. My answers are not to be considered complete answers to each question and do not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Always seek the advice if your own attorney. I am licensed only in the State of Florida and in federal courts. Florida Bar #337821, admitted 1982.
Your case will soon be posted online and will be ready for court. Your first court date is called the arraignment. You should speak to a criminal defense attorney that offers free consultations soon.
Take the yellow sheet you received when you left jail to your initial consultation, so that the attorney can analyze your case.
There is much talk about programs and the like but the fact is that, the fact that you attend the program will be posted online, and the program will cost you money in addition to the classes. Why not fight your case?
You should explore whether it is a better idea to try to get your case dismissed by seeing an attorney that represents clients accused of petty theft every day in court, right here in Miami.
A petty theft conviction can carry with it the possibility of jail time, probation, classes, and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. Your attorney can even go to court without you having to go to court. After your case is over, your attorney can see to it that the arrest records are sealed or expunged, meaning he raced from the public record.
I highly recommend that you consult a criminal defense lawyer immediately. This offense can be fought very inexpensively, but if you do not do so, it could be very costly in the future.
The information provided is not legal advice from Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes, or the Ticket Law Center in Miami, Florida. There is no attorney client privilege created in this communication. Do not send questions which are confidential in nature by either this venue or via email. Personal questions should be asked in person or via telephonic conference only. You should only ask theoretical questions of a general nature.
Yes, you need to get a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side that will represent you not only in the criminal case, but once you get a dismissal, to file all the necessary paperwork to get this matter sealed. Shoplifting is an offense that can truly haunt you for many years to come. You will most likely be offered a diversion program, but you will have to admit the crime to get into it, and you will probably have to pay costs, fines, take a class and basically be on probation for a few months and do some community service hours. Then if you complete everything, the case can be dismissed, but if you do not complete everything, you may get convicted. After a few convictions for petit theft, the next becomes a felony. It is considered to be a crime of dishonesty, at the least, and by some to be a crime of moral turpitude.
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.