For a 1st time offender, what happens when I appear in court?

UPDATED: Oct 8, 2019

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For a 1st time offender, what happens when I appear in court?

1st time petty theft under $35 and possession of drug paraphernalia. Do I need a lawyer?

Asked on October 8, 2019 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you should have a lawyer: you are facing charges for which you could ber imprisoned (jail time).
The first appearance is just a chance to either plead gulty or not guilty. The prosecutor may offer you some deal or plea--which you will be better able to evaluate with an attonrey's help. If you don't plead guilty--i.e. if you plead not guilty--later dates for proceedings will be set, but nothing else will happen that day.

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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