How do I handle an 11 year old shoplifting case?

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How do I handle an 11 year old shoplifting case?

I was arrested a few weeks ago for an old warrant I was unaware of. It is for shoplifting under $500 in MD. I can’t afford an attorney. I just started working. Of course I make too much for a public defender. What is the best way to handle it? I know their are no witnesses and the officer who filed is no longer with the police department. Should I request a jury trial? How do I defend myself? I am lost.

Asked on June 26, 2011 under Criminal Law, Delaware

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that you will need to make an appearance back in the MD court. You will need to address not only the warrant but the underlying offense as well. Hopefully being this is a simple shoplifting charge and it is 8 years old, as long as you have been in no further trouble, you may finds a judge willing to be lenient. However, it is still a criminal charge so having legal counsel is advisable. Since money is an issue for you, check to see if there is a law school nearby to the court in question; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  Also, contact the local Bar Association in the county that the court is in; it may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances. 


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