I have no idea what is going on with me. So I want to explain what happened to me little detailed.--> sorry about that.
last week, I got arrested for grand theft ($1800 value) from department store in california. yes..it is lots of money but it was several expensive brand clothings and it was my first time ever, believe or not . .
They called the police and gave me a civil demand notice. and I was sent to jail right away and booked with finger-printed and have picture taken.
after couple of days spent in the cell, I was sent to court to see a judge.
(I am an international student and had nobody to call to help me out or get a lawyer by myself that time)
So on the court day, they have provided me a public defender who was very mean while doesn't even try to listen to me. As soon as he saw me, he told I was arrested with burglary and grand theft. So it falls under felony category and I will get about 60 days jail time with excessive amout of fine. Even though it is my ""first time got arrested"" and have super clear record (not even trafic violation), he said the best thing I can do is plea no contest and get a $1300 fine w/ 2 year probation, 20 days comunity service. And he dropped me to a misdemeanor with 487(a)pc (487cal) charge. I was very scared and paniced to going to prison, so I agreed whatever he told me and saw a judge(I was just watching my public defendor speaking with a judge and answered whatever my pd asked to do so. I was satisfied w' result just because I was able to released that night. But I found this criminal record can treaten my future education and career. (I am currently on my graduate school for master's degree with very good grade and want to have a job here)
so my question is:
1) Is it possible I can hire an attorney by myself and have a trial again?
if so, do you see a chance of withdrawal of plea? because I had to make decision under pressure and I wasn't aware of any other option.
2)since I wasn't offered for a diviersion program, can I ask a court if I can qulified for that if I hire an attorney?(I am 27 years old).
3)If I complete everything and make no more crime during the probation, will I be qualified for "Court-ordered expunction of criminal history records" after the probation period?
do you know how much the civil demand charge would be? it is california and the amount of item which have damaged(because I ripped off a sensor out of some clothings) was $800 out of total $1800.
I can't sleep or eat because it feels like my life has just ended with no future. I am fully regretting what I have done and willing to do anything what court want me to do.
I just want there is no criminal record on my history. Thankyou for your time. your answer would be a big help.