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Old 03-12-2008, 03:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 42,938 times
Reputation: 26

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a couple months ago i was caught shoplifting a pair of fourteen dollar socks from jcpenny. (stupid, i know, i know, i know!) i hate myself for it and have beat myself up over it since. tomorrow is the court date, and i have no idea what to expect!

i wasi caught shoplifting in the jcpenny store of southland mall. i was caught walking on camera putting the pair of socks in my purse and was first confronted when i was out of the store. i was taken to the security office inside of the store where the woman wrote a report of what happened and called the city of taylor police officer to do a background check. the officer inspected my purse, finding alot of clothes that actually did belong to me. there was one shirt that i had stolen from another store, and she said if i admitted to stealing it, she would just return it and i wouldn't be arrested.

i was given a ticket, and i recieved a court date in the mail last week about two months after the incident occured. my hearing is tomorrow, and since i have never gotten into the slightest bit of trouble prior to this, i have no idea what to expect.

i have grown up in a very abusive household, both phsyically and emotionally. i am a manic depressive, have a major cutting problem, and have horrible anxiety issues resulting from my home environment. my father passed away almost a year ago, which has thrown me into even more of a downward spiral. this passed december i moved out of my mother's home and into an apartment of my own. i work almost fourty hours a week at a minimum wage job, while keeping up a gpa of 3.75 at my college that i attend full-time. does this matter to a judge? i cannot in any way afford the huge finds i am most likely going to get, nor can i afford to have this permanently on my record. would the judge be sensitive to the fact that i am trying incredibly hard to better myself, and that this stupid, irresponsible act was once in a blue moon and was just a result of faulty reasoning that is otherwise not there?

i have friends who always told me their stories of stealing and getting away with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise, and i've always been disgusted by it. but on the other hand i've always felt the the world owes me something for everything i have gone through in my life. i know that's not true in any way, but irrationally to me it makes sense that i feel that way. why do these beautiful girls coming from wonderful home situations steal their way into getting even more than they already get from their loving families? why did i have to grow up in poverty, filth and disease and even now still struggle to make rent when these girls get everything they desire and more? so i tried it out, got caught, and now am facing even more financial despair than i had previously.

i don't know what to say and what not to say in court. i don't know what to expect. i don't know if the police officer will say anything about the other merchandise she found in my purse because it is not written on the ticket. i realize every judge is different, but what are my chances of getting away with probation or community service? should i bring paperwork showing that i go to school full-time and achieve a high gpa, work full-time, live on my own, and contribute my time to my father's charity? should i tell him/her about my stressful home situation? i definitely don't want them to let me go scott-free, nor do i think that they will. and i am not sure on how much proof i'm going to need when telling him all of these things if i decide to do so. the closest i've been to a court-room is watching the trashy half hour episodes of cases on tv and they need everything to be documented, so i'm assuming that still hold true in real life court, even for just a shoplifting charge.

any help you can provide will be appreciated.
any answers to my questions, or even just telling me other things i should expect or do will help me so much.
once again i know stealing is horribly wrong and i never intend on doing anything like that in the future, not only because i got caught, but because i know it's morally wrong.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:47 PM
 
21,840 posts, read 17,038,627 times
Reputation: 8782
Google Prison talk. I bet someone there will have an opinion. Look for the Michigan part as laws charge place to place.
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Old 03-12-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati via Chicago...Michigan next?
929 posts, read 1,716,458 times
Reputation: 389
Try to get a public defender (they are free) or you can request trial by jury and they will reschedual you. the jury are people called in for Jury Duty and most of the time they are very lenient if you are a 1st time offender. I dont know the difference between traffic court and court for stealing but when I had to go to traffic court, they called my name and asked my plea. I said "no contest" which means you admit no fault and thats when I had to take a stand. The judge was nice and although he found me guilty, he dropped the court charges. Speak with a public defender on council, they may want you to plead no contest and request community service or a fine. Tell the judge you are a good student, on your own and struggling and know you were wrong. Proof isnt necessary of your grades or a need to tell about your abuse. Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:23 PM
 
5,475 posts, read 3,934,179 times
Reputation: 5333
I'm sorry for all your troubles, I wish I had some advice, but I really have no idea what will happen. I would imagine this first date is to get your plea, I would plead not guilty and let it go to trial and then you can explain your medical condition. You need to consult a lawyer before you admit guilt no matter how bad you feel about it, you need to think of your future.

I wish you the best, it's clear you feel remorse. I hope it all works out.
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:53 PM
 
5,211 posts, read 8,890,185 times
Reputation: 3562
Default third vote for a lawyer

As both the other posters have suggested, you need a lawyer. From the way you describe your fincancial situation, I'm guessing you can't afford to pay a lawyer, so you want a public defender. I wouldn't want to tell you anything beyond this about what to do or what to expect. I used to be in law enforcement, but that was some years ago, and it wasn't in Michigan, so I'm not familiar with Michigan law. The first thing you need to do is make sure you let it be known in court that you need a lawyer. Once you make this known, the court should deal with the question of whether you can afford to pay a lawyer, and if they determine you're unable to they'll follow the standard procedures in that court for appointing counsel. A lawyer is in the best position to know how to present your case.

From what you describe here, you've definitely had it tough. But you also seem to have the strength to ultimately succeed in life (I'm impressed with that GPA!). I wish you the best as you go through life, and it sounds as if you have what it takes to make it, but for dealing with this immediate situation you need the expert advice a lawyer can give about how best to negotiate the court system. Best wishes.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:51 PM
 
47,586 posts, read 35,285,110 times
Reputation: 21570
Quote:
Originally Posted by imsolidmatter View Post
a couple months ago i was caught shoplifting a pair of fourteen dollar socks from jcpenny. (stupid, i know, i know, i know!) i hate myself for it and have beat myself up over it since. tomorrow is the court date, and i have no idea what to expect!

i wasi caught shoplifting in the jcpenny store of southland mall. i was caught walking on camera putting the pair of socks in my purse and was first confronted when i was out of the store. i was taken to the security office inside of the store where the woman wrote a report of what happened and called the city of taylor police officer to do a background check. the officer inspected my purse, finding alot of clothes that actually did belong to me. there was one shirt that i had stolen from another store, and she said if i admitted to stealing it, she would just return it and i wouldn't be arrested.

i was given a ticket, and i recieved a court date in the mail last week about two months after the incident occured. my hearing is tomorrow, and since i have never gotten into the slightest bit of trouble prior to this, i have no idea what to expect.

i have grown up in a very abusive household, both phsyically and emotionally. i am a manic depressive, have a major cutting problem, and have horrible anxiety issues resulting from my home environment. my father passed away almost a year ago, which has thrown me into even more of a downward spiral. this passed december i moved out of my mother's home and into an apartment of my own. i work almost fourty hours a week at a minimum wage job, while keeping up a gpa of 3.75 at my college that i attend full-time. does this matter to a judge? i cannot in any way afford the huge finds i am most likely going to get, nor can i afford to have this permanently on my record. would the judge be sensitive to the fact that i am trying incredibly hard to better myself, and that this stupid, irresponsible act was once in a blue moon and was just a result of faulty reasoning that is otherwise not there?

i have friends who always told me their stories of stealing and getting away with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise, and i've always been disgusted by it. but on the other hand i've always felt the the world owes me something for everything i have gone through in my life. i know that's not true in any way, but irrationally to me it makes sense that i feel that way. why do these beautiful girls coming from wonderful home situations steal their way into getting even more than they already get from their loving families? why did i have to grow up in poverty, filth and disease and even now still struggle to make rent when these girls get everything they desire and more? so i tried it out, got caught, and now am facing even more financial despair than i had previously.

i don't know what to say and what not to say in court. i don't know what to expect. i don't know if the police officer will say anything about the other merchandise she found in my purse because it is not written on the ticket. i realize every judge is different, but what are my chances of getting away with probation or community service? should i bring paperwork showing that i go to school full-time and achieve a high gpa, work full-time, live on my own, and contribute my time to my father's charity? should i tell him/her about my stressful home situation? i definitely don't want them to let me go scott-free, nor do i think that they will. and i am not sure on how much proof i'm going to need when telling him all of these things if i decide to do so. the closest i've been to a court-room is watching the trashy half hour episodes of cases on tv and they need everything to be documented, so i'm assuming that still hold true in real life court, even for just a shoplifting charge.

any help you can provide will be appreciated.
any answers to my questions, or even just telling me other things i should expect or do will help me so much.
once again i know stealing is horribly wrong and i never intend on doing anything like that in the future, not only because i got caught, but because i know it's morally wrong.

I agree with the others who suggest getting a public defender. The legal system is too difficult for one to understand on their own - I know someone who decided honesty is the best policy and went in and pleaded guilty to something pretty minor and so ended up in jail for a week, missed out on a week's pay and had to have that on his history. There's a reason people plead no contest -- and this guy had to learn that the hard way, and would likely have had a ticket to pay and nothing more. Lawyers can advise you of the best course of action.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:01 AM
 
2 posts, read 45,284 times
Reputation: 15
First off in Mi you can not get a public defender unless you can not afford one and you have to prove you can not afford one.
Second and most important is the cops are not your friends and never will be. the most important is SHUT YOUR MOUTH you can not talk your way out of anything and can only hurt yourself. First thing to do is ask for an attorney, this usualy makes what you may slip up and say not usable in court.

I have a couple of experiances where I did not really do anything worng and tried to work with the police, I shot a dog that was attacking my dog. The PA was an animal rights idiot and because I tried to work with the police they had my statment admiting to the incident. If I would have just shut my mouth I would not have a misdomeaner on my record.
It is a minor misd. but still POs me . Never Never admidt to anything, the best is just shut your mouth ask for an attorney and sit there and take the crap they throw at you. the if you just tell us it will go ok for your, we are trying to help you. This is a good live lesson for you. Only people who try to talk their way out of things with the police shoot themselfs in the foot before they get out of the gate.
I can say your bad life story is not going to play well with a jury, people dont give a crap if your stepdad beat you. it is not an excuse for stealing a pair of shoes. You need an attorney and you need to plead it down if you can, they have all they need to convict you as you gave it to them, you told them you did it, you could have pleaded that you put it in your purse and forgot to check out as you rememberd something important you had to do
It may not be the best defence but it raises some doubt, now you gave the game away by telling them yep I did it.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
2,797 posts, read 4,655,190 times
Reputation: 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I agree with the others who suggest getting a public defender. The legal system is too difficult for one to understand on their own - I know someone who decided honesty is the best policy and went in and pleaded guilty to something pretty minor and so ended up in jail for a week, missed out on a week's pay and had to have that on his history. There's a reason people plead no contest -- and this guy had to learn that the hard way, and would likely have had a ticket to pay and nothing more. Lawyers can advise you of the best course of action.
Since the trial is today it's probably too late to do much other than to beg the judge to reschedule it so that you'll have time to talk to an attorney. Maybe you could tell the judge that you have little education and that you aren't very sophisticated and that you didn't know you could get a public defender to represent you and that you'd like to have a public defender assigned to you?
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Old 03-13-2008, 11:56 AM
 
5,475 posts, read 3,934,179 times
Reputation: 5333
I imagine you are already there, but if you read this listen to the posters, say nothing but "I need a lawyer"
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Old 03-15-2008, 06:15 PM
 
3 posts, read 49,053 times
Reputation: 12
I hope that everything works out well for you.
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