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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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