Can I pay my fine after having plead not guilty to theft?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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Can I pay my fine after having plead not guilty to theft?

I got charged with theft after not paying for an item valued at $1.97. I went to court and the DA wanted me to pay a $150 fine and restitution to the the store. I plead not guilty because it was a mistake on my part. Can I pay my fine after pleading not guilty or should I just go back to court and see what happens. Should I get a criminal defense lawyer if I have previous misdemeanor charges from 6 years ago? In Lincoln County, ME

Asked on August 24, 2011 Maine


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Given the circumstances that you have been charged with a theft crime and you may have been convicted of a prior offense stemming from charges fiked against you six (6) years ago, prudence dictates that you retain a criminal defense attorney to assist you in resolving the current criminal proceedings that you are involved in as opposed to representing yourself.

From what you have written about your current offense, a "no contest" plea, no jail time, a $150.00 fine and restitution of $1.97 or so seems like a reasonable offer depending upon the actual charges filed against you. Strategically, the suggested criminal defense attorney for you to retain might consider a plea to a lesser charge which would be a better "deal" for you.

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 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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