If I stole an item from a store and I have to appear at court, I don’t know if I should have a lawyer present with me?

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2011

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If I stole an item from a store and I have to appear at court, I don’t know if I should have a lawyer present with me?

I stole an item worth $5 this is my first offense. Each day is scaring me as the court date is drawing near. I do not know if a lawyer is required. This is one of the most idiotic things I have ever done. What should I expect when I go?

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Criminal Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you stole an item from a store, were arrested, are charged with the offense, and have a criminal hearing coming up, you should consult with an attorney about the offense. If you are convicted of the offense, you could be jailed, fined, put on probation and worse yet, have a criminal record that could affect your ability to get a job or go to college.

The first appearance is the arraignment where the charge or charges are read that are pending against you. At this time, it is expected that you make a plea of guilty or not guilty.

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