My question involves criminal law for the state of:Florida
My girlfriends son who is 23, was at a department store with a friend and was caught trying to steal merchandise out of the store in a bag. That was the first time he has ever done anything like that. Anyway they both were charged for retail theft of $362 combined. They were arrested and spent only 7 hours in jail and released. They were charged with a 3rd degree felony and put on pre-trial probation. Is there anyway that he can get that charge reduced to a misdemeanor? And will hiring a lawyer instead of a public defender really make a difference in the outcome? And what steps if any should he take at this time? A free consultation with a lawyer resulted in the attorney asking for $2500 to take the case. Your response will be much appreciated.