Ok so i worked at Orielly Auto Parts for quite some time, and i got caught stealing parts which totaled out to $380, and they decided to press charges. I admitted to taking the parts when the loss prevention guy came in and he has it recorded on a tape that was in the room recording at the time. I just got my "preliminary" court hearing letter today. What should i expect? Do i need a lawyer? Should i just plead guilty?
Yes, you absolutely need a lawyer. You should not go in and plead guilty. Your attorney can work out an agreement that is beneficial prior to pleading; or can advise you as to the best course of action.
This advice is not intended to nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. Please be advised that every case is different, and while any answers given here may be a helpful guide, they are no substitute for one-on-one, in-depth legal advice related to your unique situation. Please always consult fully with an attorney in your area.
The 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that no person can be charged with a crime unless indicted by a grand jury. This provision of the 5th Amendment, however, applies only to federal crimes and states are not obligated to indict by grand jury. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has stated that, although states are not required to indict via a grand jury, they must provide some process by which a neutral arbiter can determine whether there is enough evidence to charge a person with a crime. According to the Supreme Court, a preliminary hearing is one such acceptable alternative and most states that have not adopted the grand jury process utilize preliminary hearings.
A preliminary hearing occurs in front of a judge who acts as a fact-finder much in the way a grand jury does. In order to charge a person with a crime, the prosecution must present a prima facile case which is the legal way of saying that it must introduce sufficient evidence to prove that a crime was committed and that the defendant was probably the person who committed it. To make out a prima facie case, the prosecution will call witnesses and introduce evidence much like at a trial, only with a much lower burden of proof. The defendant may cross-examine the prosecution's witnesses, present his or her own witnesses or evidence, and be represented by a lawyer. If the judge thinks that there is enough evidence to charge (though not necessarily convict) a defendant, the charges will be filed and the case will proceed to court.
My suggestion would be not to plead guilty to anything and to consult a criminal defense attorney licensed in your state. They may be able to either have the charges dismissed based on insufficient evidence or negotiate a lesser charge with the prosecution. In any event, you have the right to an attorney so, if you can afford one, get one.
You need to hire a criminal defense attorney ASAP: ww.kacdl.net
This is a misdemeanor theft charge that will go on your criminal record if convicted. There may be a diversion program available to you. Get counsel.
I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this response on the avvo website. I have not been retained to represent you. I am licensed to practice law in Kentucky and in federal court in this state and the Southern District of Indiana. You need to seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your area..
Even misdemeanor theft charges are very serious and could be detrimental when trying to obtain future employment. Your Pre-Trial Hearing (what you are referring to as a "Preliminary Hearing") is the first opportunity you or your attorney will have to discuss a pre-trial resolution to your case (otherwise known as plea bargaining). I know money may be tight, but this is a situation where you want a criminal defense lawyer by your side. Just because someone tells you that they have a solid case against you doesn't necessarily make it so.
No attorney-client relationship has been created by answering this question. I make no guarantees as to the accuracy of any information I contribute in answering any inquiry on Avvo and I strongly encourage all concerns be addressed in the private counsel of an attorney personally contacted and retained.
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