My question involves criminal law for the state of: California
I'm over 18 with no prior record. I took 2 pieces of clothing adding up to $135. LP found scissors in my bag which was used to remove the sensors (which damaged the merchandise). This is the first time I've done something so stupid. I've always heard people around me doing this and never heard of anyone getting caught, but sure enough the peer pressure caused me to make a huge mistake. I would like to try my best to keep this from going onto my record.
I was wondering how the court proceeding will be. Moreso of how to plea and when to ask for a court appointed attorney since I have no means of affording a lawyer. Do I ask for one right off the bat or face the judge myself until it is time to plea? Do I plea no contest or not guilty and then ask for an attorney? Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help.