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

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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

Answers:

Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 9 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.


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