Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

What happens if you go to rent a movie to a Redbox inside a grocery store and he found a pair of sunglasses and he take them without returning them, because he didn't know who was the owner. I'm sure there was a camera, and there was a video. That is why after a week the police come to his house and ask to return the sunglasses. He returned the sunglasses right away and apologies. Then he got on the mail a Court citation. An attorney want to charge him a $2500 which he doesn't have. What is going to happens and the person that took the sunglasses has a clear record. Do you think if he goes to court without an attorney it will be OK? If you could please help us, we are very worry about this situation. Thank you so much for your time.

Asked on 7/07/13, 12:00 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

It is always best to have an attorney. If the person cannot afford an attorney and if the matter is either a felony or a misdemeanor the court will appoint an attorney. Your question is somewhat unclear. If the police are involved I assume it is a criminal case. But when you say someone wants $2500 it sounds like the person is being sued civilly. In either case, or in both cases, the person needs an attorney to protect his rights.

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Answered on 7/07/13, 12:53 am

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

He is being charged with a misdemeanor crime.

You are always entitled to represent yourself in court. Whether you should is a different issue. The conventional wisdom is that an attorney will be able to do a better job and get a better outcome. Prosecutors and judges donít like dealing with ProPers, unless you are simply pleading guilty, not defending the case.

If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, programs, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Iíll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.

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Answered on 7/07/13, 1:14 am

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