Can I file an answer or counter claim to criminal theft charges in order to show proof that I own the appliances in questoin?

UPDATED: Jan 8, 2012

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Can I file an answer or counter claim to criminal theft charges in order to show proof that I own the appliances in questoin?

I have been charged with criminal theft of appliances by a former landlord. How do I get my cancelled checks and bank records proof that I purchased the appliances in front of the judge or state prosecutor in the hopes of getting the charges dropped? When I appeared for arraignment the judge scheduled another arraignment date and told me to hire an attorney or show that I attempted to hire an attorney before he would appoint a public defender. I cannot afford an attorney. It seems unnecessary to even have to go that route when I can prove I own the appliances.

Asked on January 8, 2012 under Criminal Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you actually paid for the tems that you are accused of stealing, I suggest that you contact your bank to send you copies of all of your checks for the period in question and to the purchase of the appliances. When you get a copy of the cancelled check and your bank records, you should send photocopies of the documents you received to the district attorney's office with the hopes that the documentation may assist in getting the charge dismissed.

If you cannot afford a private attorney, I suggest that you make an appointment with the public defender's office to see if you qualify for a public defender or a court appointed attorney that is under contract.

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 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.

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