OK--take a breath. You made a mistake and will have to deal with it. If you can afford an attorney, consider hiring one. If you can't, the court will appoint one for you. The judge may ask questions of you 1st to see if you qualify but otherwise, he will not ask you about yourself or the facts of the case.
An attorney handling your case, hired by you or appointed by the court, will negotiate this case down to a lesser charge so you do not face a permanent record. Standard penalties are fines and/or community service.
I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.
Typically, arraignment will consist of the charges being read in open court. However, you can waive reading and stipulate that there was probable cause to arrest you. Most likely the judge will only ask what your initial plea to the charge is. The options, in Ohio, are guilty, not guilty and no contest.
Keep in mind that before you enter into any plea, it is best to consult with a licensed attorney who has extensive criminal experience. He or she will be able to evaluate the case and make some recommendations based on the strengths and weaknesses of the State's case.
Further, keep in mind that the offense, if convicted, may not be eligible for an expungement in your home state. This is yet one additional reason why it is best to hire legal counsel to discuss the ramifications a theft conviction could have on your future.
You should speak with a criminal defense lawyer, he/she will help you. Your life is not over if you have no prior criminal history. You will be given a chance by the judge to make a statement. Discuss the contents of your statement prior to making the statement.
You do NOT have to plead guilty. You can walk away from this without a record. Hire a good criminal defense lawyer.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Criminal defense Criminal charges Criminal charges for theft Probable cause and criminal defense Defenses for criminal charges Criminal arrest Arraignment for criminal cases Court-ordered community service for criminal conviction Criminal record Expungement of criminal record Shoplifting