should I get a lawyer for a shoplifting charge? I have no prior convictions.
4 Answers from Attorneys
Absolutely. Even a first offense petty theft (shoplifting) is a serious misdemeanor because it's a crime of moral turpitude (a type of crime that reflects badly on your character and honesty). A criminal lawyer can help you in many ways. Most criminal lawyers give free consultations. You should have one to learn about your options and potential consequences. If you'd like to speak to me about this case, don't hesitate to call for a free consultation. Good luck. Steve Mandell 310 393 0639
To add to what Mr. Mandell stated, if you cannot afford an attorney, you should ask the court to appoint the public defender to represent you. The public defender is an attorney who is paid by the county to represent indigent defendants.
Yes yes and Yes. It should not be to expensive. We handle these for a reasonable price.
A conviction for theft, even a first offense, can have long-term consequences. Even if the punishment isn't severe, having a conviction on your record can impact employment, background checks, etc.
You're potentially facing misdemeanor charges that could carry jail time, probation, community service and fines. For this (and any charge really), you absolutely need a lawyer.
Look for a good local criminal defense attorney. Don't go by price necessarily - look for somebody that can answer your questions adequately, has a strategy for handling your case and who you seem to click with. If you cannot afford an attorney (and you'll never know if you can unless you meet face to face to discuss the case and then fees/payments), then request a public defender when you appear in court.
A quick word about choosing an attorney - I'd be cautious of an attorney that can quote a fee over the phone without discussing the case in depth with you. Your case is unique. There may be factual defenses, legal defenses or other factors that make the case more or less complex than the "average" one like it.
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