What can I do to help myself in court for first offense shoplifting?

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What can I do to help myself in court for first offense shoplifting?

I completed PTI over a year ago so I am not eligible. Is there anything I can do to help myself in court. I make too much for a public defender and cannot afford an attorney, so I have to represent myself in court. I want to help myself as much as I am able.

Asked on June 26, 2016 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Since PTI is no longer available to you and for various reasons you can't get an attorney to represnt you, you will have to as the saying goes, "throw yourself on the mercy of the court". In other words, explain your situation as best you can and hope that the judge is understanding. The fact is that PTI is designed to give a person a second chance; it should have been a wake-up call for you but you apparently didn't get the message. That all having been said, you may have some recourse. There is something called "expungement", which is a legal mechanism that will allow a person who was convicted of a crime to have it cleared from their record. While not available to all those convicted and while not available for all offenses, it is something that you can check into in the future.


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