If I have a shoplifting case coming up, what can I do before seeing the judge?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2012

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If I have a shoplifting case coming up, what can I do before seeing the judge?

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


Russ Pietryga / Pietryga Law Office

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Shoplifting is usually classified as a misdemeanor offense.  So, the first proceeding will be an arraignment.  At the arraignment, the judge will ask you how you plea--guilty/not-guilty. Unless, there is a prosecutor there to offer you a plea agreement it is usually best to enter a not-guilty plea and set your matter for a pre-trial. Note, at this hearing, if you do not have an attorney and cannot afford one, this would be the time to request a public defender.

At the pre-trial, you or your attorney will have an opportunity to negotiate a resolution of this matter.  If the prosecutor offers you a plea deal that you are in agreement with the case can be resolved that day. If not, you or your attorney can set it for a bench trial, jury trial, or motion hearing (Facts depending)

Anyway, prior to your initial appearance, the only thing you can do is make sure you are there on time.

Hope this helps.

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