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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy What to Do at Your Shoplifting Court Date

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Maine

    I am 19 years old and I am a great kid, I have never stolen anything in my life, and I have no criminal record. I go to school in Biddeford, ME but I live in Conneticuit. Recently I have been having money problems and stole a $24 item from Walmart. I even considered putting it back, knowing that what I was doing was wrong. I continued to walk out of the store when I was approached by two workers who took me into a back room. They took all my information and made me sign a few pieces of paper. A few moments later, a police officer came and took my information as well. He gave me a court summons. A few weeks later I recieved a civil letter from Walmart asking me to pay a fine of $85, which I did right away. I now have a court summons soon and I was wondering what I should do. I am on winter break and I still don't know how I am supposed to get to Maine for my court date since I do not have my own car. I am very nervous since nothing like this has happened to me. I have yet to tell anyone besides m best friend because I am nervous. I do not have the money to hire a lawyer or attorney so I will have to represent myself. What should I be prepared for? Do I plead guilty or not guilty? Is there any way that I can pay a fine to the state instead of going to court? Please provide me with any information you think would be helpful. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,291

    Default Re: Walmart Shoplifting Court Date

    Always plead NOT GUILTY unless you have legal counsel on the impacts of doing otherwise. If you are indigent, ask for a public defender. Alas Maine administers the public defender program on a county-by-county basis so I can't tell you how to obtain one. You could call the court you're summonsed to and ask, but typically you'd just ask at your first appearance for such. Your case will be continued until you can determine if you qualify and an attorney to be assigned.

    Understand that this isn't some traffic ticket. You're facing a class E criminal charge (a misdemeanor in other words) and while it is unlikely, the judge could send you to JAIL for up to six months. No you can't just pay a fine and forget it.

    The civil demand from Walmart (which by the way isn't a fine) is independent of your criminal issues. That's just to compensate Walmart for putting up with thieves like you.

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