My question involves criminal law for the state of: Nj
My public defender got my shoplifting (under $100) charges downgraded to a municipal ordinance violation. He said I had two options: I could plead guilty to a municipal ordinance violation or he could schedule another few court dates and if the loss prevention who had me arrested didn't show up, then all charges would be dismissed. I was so relieved that I wouldn't have to come back to court that I accepted the guilty to municipal ordinance violation charge without asking questions about fines or community service. I just wanted to get out of there and never return back to court.
The prosecuter said OK to the downgrade and I was free to go that night. The PD said I would be getting a "letter" in the mail about my fines.community service.
Today, I received this "letter. It turns out I'm going to have to return back to court. I think it's supposed to be when I am notified of what fines I have to pay and the community service I have to do. What a shock because I thought I wouldn't have to go back. The court date is in over a month which means I'll be worrying about it all through winter break.
Is there any way to ask the judge to "undo" my guilty plea to the municipal ordinance violation? I want to be able to do the second option the PD gave me: to go back to court a few times and if the LPs didn't show up, then I could have my case dismissed. I really thought I wouldn't have to go back to court. Also,I have no idea how big the fines are going to be. All I know is that the max fine in NJ is $1,250 and the most number of days of community service is 90. I'm a college student and can't afford to pay for that amount. I'm okay with doing community service, but the $1,250 is making me sleepless.
What should I do?