Q: I was caught shoplifting but not arrested. I am being charged though. What does that mean?
The police did it arrest me but said that he can still charge me. Will I go to jail?
A: If convicted of a crime where incarceration is a proper penalty and you are sentenced to a period of incarceration, yes, you will go to jail. But long before that awful fate falls upon you there is a long legal process, and your rights to a trial and to confronting witnesses and of course to a free attorney if you cannot pay for an attorney.
Daniel Michael Luisi agrees with this answer
A: Did you receive a "desk appearance ticket?" This is the normal procedure where you were not arrested, but charged for a crime after an encounter with the police. It is the most common method of processing a shoplifting case. A Desk Appearance Ticket will indicate that you are to report to a specific criminal court at a specific date and time. You absolutely should retain either a private attorney, or a public defender at no cost, prior to the court date. Failure to appear at the criminal court designated on the Desk Appearance Ticket will result in the judge issuing a warrant for your arrest: this is known as a "bench warrant." Wherever the police find you, they will arrest you right there, cuff you, and bring you to the police station to go through the normal booking process. This would obviously be very embarrassing, especially if you are with friends or family at that moment.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.