Legal Question in Criminal Law in Iowa

Charged with 4th degree theft and arrested in Iowa yesterday. One prior conviction of simple misdemeanor 5th degree theft 3 years ago.

I have a few cameras to begin with. Purchased a new one from WalMart by credit card, didnt like it, and wanted to return it. The wrong camera ended up by mistake in the box of a camera that was returned. A couple weeks went by before I noticed the mistake because I was gone on holiday (I took one of my other cameras with me otherwise I would have noticed the mistake before I left). While unpacking and cleaning up , I found the camera I thought I had returned sitting on my desk with the other cameras I have. Upon discovery I wasn't exactly sure what to do...I felt foolish and like an idiot going to the store with no receipt, no box, nothing but the camera, and missing the camera I returned by mistake. I didn't have the software, instruction manual, cables, disks, or charger to even use the camera - all that went with the wrong camera that was returned. I have documented social anxiety issues and really did not want to place myself in that situation looking stupid in front of everyone at the returns counter, so I just put the matter in the back of my mind hoping I would get a phone call or letter or charge placed back on my credit card from WalMart. Instead an inspector came to my residence and after taking my account of the events and recovering the camera, placed me under arrest. This whole thing was a big mistake, nothing that involved criminal intent, but rather an honest mistake that could have been handled better.

I plead not guilty this morning. My question is: should I hire an attorney to represent me now for my preliminary hearing or should I go by myself to the hearing and ask the county attorney if I can receive a deferred judgement based on the circumstances described above, and if I do the latter, what is the likelihood of receiving this judgement?

Thank you in advance.


Asked on 8/25/10, 11:46 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Todd Miler Miler Law Firm

I always recommend that you have an attorney. You can meet with an attorney in advance of the hearing and find one that you are confident and comfortable with in pursuing your objectives.

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Answered on 8/30/10, 11:58 am

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