If I shoplifted and stole about $80 worth of clothing, do I need a lawyer if I am going to plead guilty at court?

Loss prevention caught me and I confessed everything to them , but they had to call the cops because I was not carrying ID on me. The police officer questioned me and I confessed to him as well, and then the police officer gave me a court date for about a month from now. They told me that the store may send me a fine, if I pay the fine , do I still have to appear at court?

Asked on February 10, 2015 under Criminal Law, California


Arkady Bukh / Bukh Law Firm, P.C.

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you will need to report to court on the date given to you and faces the charge in court.  It would be wise for you to  have an attorney with you and not to speak wit the police without your attorney present, especially since you say you confesseed. 

The store will send you a demand for repayment of the amount stolen plus extra amount.  They will usually not pursue this in civil court as the amount is too small for them to do that.  This is a totally different thing from any fine the criminal court  may give you.

Bruce Provda / Provda Law Firm

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The case may be dismissed on your first appearance, however, it's still a court apperance. Please read more about shoplifting laws.

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.