I have been charged with identity theft along with false documents. I was released on a bail of 50,000 and I will soon be going to my first arraignment. When I was arrested, the police officer took me out from work & then took me home to search my room until he found the false documents (Fake SS #). If he already have that as proof against me, should I plead guilty in my arraignment? Lastly, I am not a US Citizen. What can be the consequences?
First of all, if it is filed as a Felony, it would be malpractice to plead guilty at the arraignment since the attorney would have no time to do research and investigation as well as the preparation of a pre plea report from probation. If it is filed as a misdemeanor, it depends upon the offer as to whether you should take it or not.
This is a crime of moral turpitude that could result in you being deported or denied re-entry or nationalization.
if you can afford a private attorney, meet with one asap. And if your case is in Pomona, you will definitely need an attorney as they give horrible offers.
If you can't afford a private attorney (since you bailed out, that unfortunately may be the case) when you go to the arraignment ask for the assistance of the Public Defender.
Good Luck! Just know that even if they have evidence to convict you, there are still many strategies that an attorney can use to mitigate the sentence as well as making sure that all their evidence was gathered legally.
DO NOT plead guilty at arraignment. You need an attorney with experience both in criminal defense and immigration issues or two separate attorneys.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--20 years experience
Do not plead guilty at the arraignment. If convicted of a felony, you could be deported. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney and an immigration attorney.
Mr. Finnecy is absolutely correct. Do not plead guilty at arraignment. You have a lot to lose including the right to be in the U.S. As you could afford to post bail, you should be able to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. It would be money well spent. It would be especially important to find a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in immigration law. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney you should ask the court to appoint the public defender's office to represent you, but there is no guarantee that they will know how to address your immigration issues. Do not say anything further to anyone about the facts of the case, other than your attorney.
You should not plead guilty without seeking legal representation. You may have a motion to suppress the evidence that was recovered. Lastly, if it is a felony, you could be deported. Good luck.
You should plead not guilty and you should talk to a lawyer If you cannot afford a lawyer the court will appoint one to represent you. It would also be wise to talk to an immigration attorneys. The consequences of not talking to an immigration attorney can be quite detrimental ending in deportation.
You should NOT plead guilty in this particular case or in most cases. What you should do is consult with a criminal defense attorney. Especially if this is charged as a felony. The felony would not only be a deportable felony but it could also mean jail time.
The criminal defense attorney could evaluate your evidence. If you feel that you do not have the money for the attorney. At least continue arraignment and request a copy of the discovery (evidence provided by prosecutor against you). Then I recommend you go to an attorney and discuss your case in detail. The attorney who is familiar with this court not only will be able to tell you what the prosecutor should be offering but also what the likely outcome of the case will be if you plead guilty or go to trial.
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