What to do if I was caught for the 2nd time shoplifting after 3 or 4 years and have no money for an attorney?

My court date is coming up on the 22nd for my 2nd shoplifting charge. I told them honestly that I took the items that were worth $89; they added $300. I do not know if I should plead guilty or not. I have no money for an attorney. Would I be facing jail time? I’m 23; the cops was not called.

Asked on June 8, 2012 under Criminal Law, Washington


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you can not afford to retain an attorney, the court may appoint you one if you qualify financially. Typically on a second offense, the judge could impose jail time, or place you on a probation. The difference between a first offense and second offense is that you are normally not allowed a deferred sentence or pre-trial diversion on a second offense, which means that this second conviction may appear on your criminal record if the first conviction was eventually dismissed a few years back.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.