My question involves criminal law for the state of: New York
My brother in law was caught shoplifting at Walmart yesterday. Not sure, but he said it was around $48 worth of merchandise. They took him to a room, took picture of him and of the stuff he stole. He said the guys were treating him nice, asked him a few question and called the police. The cop was also nice, telling him not to worry because it is not a "big deal", but he hoped my in law learned his lesson. He got an appearance ticket, and he must go to the court next week. Today he called a Public Defender, went there and filled out some applications, tomorrow they will call him back to let him know whether or not he is qualified for the PD.
He is 24 years old, clean records until now.
In case the PD couldn't help him for any reason, what is the best thing to do at the court? plead guilty or not? I have read many cases here, and pretty much all of them suggest the first time offender not to plead guilty and ask for a public attorney, but since he was caught stealing, Walmart has the picture of the stolen items, how come he can plead not guilty?
Right now he is completely depressed and just want to plead guilty because that is the way he feels, but we are trying to convince him to wait for the PD helps him (in case he gets one).
By any chance, could he talk to the District Attorney by himself, with no PD involved, and try to bargain an ACD? And how often first time offenders get an ACD with or without an Attorney?
He said the cop was really nice, and said he would probably end up doing some community services, stuff like that, so we assume it is the ACD?
We are worried about all the fees, because we are not a rich family, so no money to help him, he supports his wife and little baby, has a job, etc.
Well, sorry to write a huge post, but we feel very bad for him, and it is always good to hear some experienced people.
Thanks a lot