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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    California - the hot part
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: How to Avoid Jail Sentence

    should i rely on public defender?
    Yes

    Chances are you are NOT going to jail, he said it could happen, not that it would happen

    Most likely to following will happen
    -You will be fined
    -You will be given Community Service
    -You will be put on Probation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How to Avoid Jail Sentence

    Thanks for the reply weber.

    Can ypu please tell me what's Community Service? where n how can we do it?

    And what's Probation? Is it like i would be sent to some center to attend some classes etc for a particular time?

    Also if in court if judge gives me jail sentence, will i be taken into custody by police at that time only? or i'll be allowed to go home, meet family and evryone and then come back and report the next day?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    What part of Virginia were you caught in?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    Community service involves things like picking up trash along highway. Working at a homeless shelter ' (if you're lucky) shoveling crap at the zoo. Basic slave labor.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    loudoun county

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    California - the hot part
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    And what's Probation? Is it like i would be sent to some center to attend some classes etc for a particular time?
    There are many types of probation. The aim of probation is to
    monitor you, it may be nothing more than a weekly phone call, to
    visiting your probation officer weekly and given a drug test. There
    may be fees involved. Breaking the law (anything) whilst on probation
    will lead to much bigger trouble

    Also if in court if judge gives me jail sentence, will i be taken into custody by police at that time only? or i'll be allowed to go home, meet family and evryone and then come back and report the next day?
    It is seriously unlikely that you will be doing any jail time

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    VA is harsh on theft. Expect jail time or at minimum a guilty finding which will hinder your job possibilities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    Quote Quoting bam!
    View Post
    VA is harsh on theft. Expect jail time or at minimum a guilty finding which will hinder your job possibilities.
    For a first offense?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    641

    Default Re: How to Avoid a Jail Sentence

    Yes they like to make examples of first offense thefts. Remember VA is a Commonwealth and very tough on all crimes.

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