My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia.
I was caught for shoplifting of clothes worth 140$ at burlington coat factory. One of the employees had seen me putting clothes in my bag. While checking out, the store manager came and asked to ckeck my bag. She found clothes for which i did not have receipts so cops were called.
they took my details and summon was issued to me and i was allowed to go home. Since that day, not even a single day has passed when i've not felt guilty of myself for doing such a stupid act.
Anyways, i'm totally unaware of US laws as i'm an alien resident. Yesterday in court, judge told me that i could be given jail sentence of upto 1 yr for my crime and i was shocked! he gave me new court date of 26 oct and appointed a public defender for me since i'm unemployed adult.
public defender office people told me that they'll contact me 1 week later about who my lawyer will be. I'm really concerned about what should i do..
i do not think that public defender will be of much help and since i've no job or anyone to rely on, i cannot pay huge private lawyers fees.
i really dont know what to do. should i go back to my country or should i rely on public defender? i dont want to go to the jail.
i fear if i go to the court, the store people would bring their employee as eye-witness or they might have video tapes as proof. can i do something so that judge gives me fine and community service only? i really donot wanna go to the jail!!! i've leant my lesson and i'm seriously sorry for that.