Mesa, AZ asked in Criminal Law for Arizona

Q: I got caught shoplifting. What will happen?

I was charged as an adult for a misdemeanor and I will have to show up to court in 2 weeks. I don't know what will happen. I called the court number and asked them what will happen and what occurs and I couldn't recall much from the phone call. All I remember were them saying words like prosecution and restitution. And they also said stuff about the judge will discuss with the prosecutor the options of the case. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT that or words mean! A few days after the incident I was sent a letter in the mail from somewhere and it basically said I have to pay Target back. I paid off the letter as well which was about $370

Questions: I read other yahoo answers and a guy said never admit to guilt of shoplifting. What does that mean? I committed that act and they also had me on film with proof? What is an attorney, prosecutor, and a judge? Will I be looking at more things to pay for than just the letter I received? Is it necessary for an attorney?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ashelee Weeks
Ashelee Weeks
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Your court date is likely your arraignment where you enter a plea of not guilty or guilty. When you enter a plea of not guilty, the Court will then set a pretrial conference hearing where you (or your attorney if you have one) will have the chance to meet with the prosecutor (the attorney for the State who trying to convict you of the charge) and discuss your case. You may also be eligible for a court appointed attorney.

While your case is pending, you may have several court dates and you will be entitled to the evidence in your case, which you/attorney can review to decide your best course of action. Restitution is the amount you owe the victim(s) as a result of your crime if you are convicted. I would suggest you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney for a more thorough answer to your questions. Many offer free consultations.

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