I got caught at Wal-Mart today. No excuses, no attempts at explanation. It was wrong, I'm ashamed & embarassed, have never done this before and you can bet I'll never, ever, ever do it again. Not to make light, but obviously I'm not very good at it anyway. I made a dumb choice, but I'm not so stupid as to repeat. I have, deeply, learned my lesson.
I'll try to be brief, but I'm not sure what details are necessary for the feedback I'm seeking.
The plain-clothes guard stopped me at the door. He asked me if there was anything in my purse I'd like to be honest about. Long story short, I was, and admitted to it - partially. I asked him if I was being arrested, and he told me Wal-Mart doesn't do arrests or something like that. So I asked if we could do this in private. He escorted me to an office.
With a little prodding, I admitted to everything I'd put in my purse. A couple pairs of shoes, a cheap watch, and a couple pairs of earrings. Total value was around $85.
They treated me fairly. I was pretty honest with them. But I didn't think this was anything too terribly official, so I gave an incorrect address & phone number because, frankly, I was scared and, again, being a massive idiot.
Long story short, the guard's manager decided that the police should be involved. I admitted to the wrong phone number & address, which the guy already knew. He said I could possibly also be charged with falsifying information, but it looks like that's not an official charge (I don't know if it's in the paperwork, however. It's not on the bond receipt/court date paper they gave me.)
I have no priors. I was escorted out of the store in handcuffs, taken to Livonia, MI jail.
They were exceptionally nice to me there. The girl taking my fingerprints said that it was very surprising that my bond was only $100, and worded it as such that that was probably a really good sign. She said she seriously doubts I'd get jail time, but that it'd depend on the judge.
I'd like to know more of what to expect, and if it would be in my best interest to get an attorney.
The offense is Retail Fraud III misdemeanor. An attorney would be difficult for me to afford, but would it be worth it for my future? I'm 39 years old, and female if that at all matters.
And, since finances are a potential block to me getting my own attorney, would a court-appointed attorney be possible, and/or adviseable?
I've read another thread here that gives the potential worst-case-scenerio - penalties of 93 days in jail, around $500 fine, etc. I read that some possible penalties could be probation, community service, etc.
I would like some feedback on what, considering the circumstances, I might expect, and how I should go about preparing for my court date of July 13.
Thank you very much for your anticipated response(s).