Definitely do not represent yourself. First off, I think you'd be surprised how affordable it would be for an attorney to represent you on a charge like that. And even if you can't afford an attorney, the court will appoint the Public Defender's to represent you.
Jay Shehadeh, P.A. www.jayshehadehlaw.com - (954) 986-6640 - Criminal Defense Lawyer - These answers are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. These answer are not intended as legal advice either. If you would like legal advice as to your specific issue, you should contact an attorney to represent and/or advise you. If you are interested in retaining our office for legal advice and/or representation, please contact our office for a free initial consultation.
If you haven't already, you should ask to be screened for a court appointed attorney to see if you qualify for a lawyer at public expense. Some areas also provide a "near indigent" list of attorneys who may agree to represent you for a low fixed cost. Otherwise, as mentioned previously, there are a number of low cost attorneys out there if you look. You may want to ask a potential attorney if you can do a payment plan or work on a sliding scale for representation. It is definitely advisable to get the services of an attorney in some way, however, as a shoplifting charge could be seen as a "crime of dishonesty" and having an attorney working for you will provide you the best chance at resolving the matter in a way that protects your job prospects going forward.
Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Washington only and cannot practice law in any state outside of Washington. This information is based on general principles of law, as well as my general experience that may or may not relate to your specific situation. This information is not meant to take the place of actually consulting an Attorney in your jurisdiction. If you would like legal advice, I would recommend consulting an attorney in your locale.
I agree. You should not represent yourself. Many criminal defense attorneys will work with you on the price or provide payment plans. Good luck with your charges and situation.
This answer does not, nor is it intended to, create an attorney-client relationship or constitute attorney advertising. Rather, it is offered solely for informational purposes. The facts of each case are different and unique, it is critical to consult with qualified counsel with whom information can be shared and assessed under attorney-client privilege, so that competent and quality advice can be obtained on which you can make informed decisions
If a licensed attorney chooses to represent himself in a criminal matter is said to "have a fool for a client".,that maxim is doubly true for a non-attorney. Hire an attorney. Too much is riding on the result.