Why Is It Important To Hire An Attorney To Defend A Theft Charge?
It’s very important because you may get away with just paying a fine. If you plead guilty, you’re throwing yourself at the mercy of the judge, who can do whatever he wants; he may not like the way you’re dressed, or your attitude; he may think you’re making fun of him; whatever it is, he can hammer you. You don’t want to get jail time or 200 hours of public service for some little thing, and if you have an attorney you can work out a plea, which the judge has to accept or reject or start all over again.
You never want to play the two in the bush game; you want to know what’s going to happen with your case; you need to know the ramifications and how it’s going to affect you, which is why you want an attorney to help you get that resolved and to get you the best deal possible. They may offer you the same thing without an attorney, such as a conviction and a minimal fine or no fine and you think it’s not so bad until you realize the conviction is on your record for the rest of your life and will screw you on every job and school application for life, and mess you up. You don’t need so much negative in your life; it’s hard enough to get a job or get into a good school these days.
Is There a Common Backstory when it Comes to Theft Charges?
Usually I don’t hear excuses. I’ve had people tell me they just do this for living; they just decided to take it; they only do it once in a while; they’re drunk and they wanted more booze; but I’ve never heard anybody really make any excuse that made any sense where they didn’t really know what they were doing, they’re just mad that they got caught.
How Can Someone Prepare for an Initial Hearing in a Theft Case?
Your first hearing is usually a bond hearing, which is when they determine if they’re going to let you out or keep you in jail during the pendency of your case, unless you post a bond, and if you don’t, you can sit in jail the whole time. Usually, on the first court date, they’ll just set bond and a court date for the state to file more formal charges, which is called an arraignment, when you’ll enter a plea of not guilty at that point, you may get the police reports or maybe soon after.
The next court date will be a pretrial hearing, which is when go over everything they have for evidence, which is called “Discovery.” You have an opportunity for your attorney to try and work out your case and see if it’s something you can live with.
To sum up, you’ll have an initial hearing for bond, an arraignment and a pretrial conference and that might be the end of it. I have one case right now in which the guy owes about $600,000 in restitution; they’re willing to give him a break but they want the restitution upfront. That case has been going on for more than a year because we still need more time to get more money together.
That’s their prerogative; if they’re giving us a break, they can dictate the terms. So, it depends on what kind of case you have, whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, what to expect, but you’ll always have a bond hearing, an arraignment, and a pretrial and if that can’t get resolved the way you want, you’ll have a trial after that. Like I said, it can last anywhere from 60 days to a year.
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