What to do if I got arrested for petty theft and don’t have court for another 2 months?

Should I try to find a public defender? What should I plead? This is my first and last time getting arrested.

Asked on August 14, 2013 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The crime of Petty Theft is a misdemeanor in the state of California.  The maximum penalties for most first-time petty theft convictions are a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), up to six (6) months in county jail, or both. That is what is on the books.  However, there is a very good chance that as a first time offender the matter would be resolved for little or no jail time.  Yes, I would try and ask for an attorney or hire one.  There are defenses and what you should plead will depend on the facts as discussed with your lawyer. Good luck.


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.