My question involves criminal law for the state of: CALIFORNIA
Hello to whomever may be reading this thread.
I am a woman who lives in Southern California, I just found out from a phone call from police officers that I am being charged with a PC 532 (A), which for me means, obtaining money by false pretenses. I have posted bail, and am now awaiting my court date in a couple of weeks where I will find out more information. I cannot afford a lawyer and am hoping a public defender will be appointed to me. I am going to plea NOT GUILTY. I am curious if I were to be found guilty, what would the maximum penalty be? I read the charge and it says 3 years in state prison is the maximum. It is for a $5,000 charge, and that actually is the dollar amount for the transaction that I had.... $5,000. I was told that claiming NOT GUILTY is fine, however if it goes to trial, I am more likely to receive the maximum punishment. I was also told that if I talk to my public defender and if they tell me they have too much evidence against me, that I should just plea GUILTY and that I have a better chance of just receiving probation, a fine... or lesser punishment. Is this true? It was not a lawyer that gave me this information, it was a police officer that is a friend. I would like to add, I have no priors, clean record. Never been in trouble. I appreciate any honest answers you can give me. I'd like an idea of what my options are when it comes to my plea. Also- I highly doubt this has any effect on my punishment, but I am 4 months pregnant.