My daughter was arrested on Friday for shoplifting it was under $10 she is 18 and she goes in for her arraignment this week but she has never been in trouble ever and we want to ask that after she has completed her punishment that this be dropped from her record so I assumed she would need a court appointed lawyer to do this so I called the court and asked how does she go about getting one and they said she has to come in and plead not guitly to get one but she isn't dening that she did this so how does this work?
3 Answers from Attorneys
She can stand mute for purposes of arraignment (not guilty plea would be entered at that time). There are other issues that must be addressed at the arraignment such as bond etc. I can explain the plea bargaining process to you and what to expect should she take that route. Contact me and I will be more than happy to answer your questions, I need more information.
You daughter might have a case that can be beat. You should NOT assume that she should plead guilty even through many court appointed lawyers do that. Good lawyers look for ways to beat cases before they consider plea bargains. You daughter has the right to hire an experienced, aggressive lawyer to help her. That's a good first step for her. You should read more at:
Whether you opt for her to be represented by a retained attorney or a court-appointed attorney, one option to consider (assuming there is not a factual defense that should be taken to trial) is for her to be placed on "HYTA" probation (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act - see http://www.eatoncounty.org/departments/prosecuting-attorney/122-departments/prosecuting-attorney/481-legal-definitions#H). This type of probation allows the court to dismiss the charge after she successfully completes the probation terms. So, she would have the keys in her hand to the case being dismissed by doing everything the judge orders her to do. It can include jail time but does not have to; it can include other probation terms like community service, confirmed schooling or work, counseling, drug or alcohol programs if those were connected to the criminal acts, etc. Another option in some counties is to enter a diversion program where the prosecutor agrees to dismiss the charge after certain conditions are met, but this is a county-by-county thing and not all counties have diversion programs.
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