My question involves criminal law for the state of: Ohio
I was caught taking about $26 worth of merchandise from a Wal-Mart store. I was taken into the LP's office, where I returned the items and identified myself. Police were called and I was arrested, then released about an hour later. The only information I gave to the police regarding the incident was a written statement, basically saying how sorry I am that this happened. I was formally charged with Theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, my first and hopefully last offence. My court date is in a week. I was also given a note that explained the civil demands process. I can either wait for a letter or call a number to settle it quickly with Wal-Mart's collections firm.
Where do I go from here? Do I start looking for a Public Defender? Do I go ahead and pay the civil demands?