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  1. #1
    newmom2 is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Likely punishment for a second offense of petty theft?

    I am in Ohio.

    I know, I know. I made a horrible decision, I don't need a lecture or rude comments from anyone, I am looking for some kind of legal advice or for someone who has been through a similar experience.

    In November of 2008 I was charged with petty theft, my first offense of ANY KIND. I took a pair of jeans from a department store, the value was $100. I paid the fines, took the diversion class and completed probation. The judge was very angry, she said if this were to happen again, I would receive 5 months in prison, which seemed extremely harsh considering I had no prior offenses. Yesterday, my friend and I were caught with taking some shampoo and beauty products, valuing $38.

    I have no reason to excuse myself, I am completely embarrassed for a number of reasons, including the fact that my two year old son was with us. I cannot find a job because of the previous petty theft conviction (I pled guilty and cannot have it taken off my record). We were cooperative with the store, the police and the police mentioned nothing about providing child services with any kind of information.

    I live with my Mom, live off of $220 in child support every month, I am 23 years old and pregnant, now a single parent. I remember learning in the diversion class that people shoplift for different reasons, I have had a very recent loss (my sister died 2 weeks ago) and wonder if that may have triggered me to do something like this again.

    I spoke to a lawyer yesterday, who said "truthfully, I don't think you will go to jail. You need some kind of counseling, maybe you'll get some community service". Obviously I need a lawyer, but I cannot afford one, so a public defender is my only option.

    Here are my concerns...

    Although the judge said if it happened again, I would spend 5 months in prison, is it likely that due to my situation, I will receive NO jail sentence and something like community service and a larger fine?

    Will my cooperation with the store, police, the fact that is was only $38 and the fact that I have no prior record other than the first offense help me?

    What can I do about getting a job with something like this on my record?

    Could I lose custody of my son over something like this? Especially considering his Dad is not in the picture?

    Will having a public defender rather than paying for a lawyer, hurt my chances of staying out of jail?

    Is there something I could say to the magistrate, or a way I could speak to them privately before the hearing?

    I clearly need some help. I don't know what made me do this last year, I don't know what kind of counseling I need, but I know I need some kind of counseling or therapy to get my life on track. I have never done drugs, I don't drink much at all, I don't go out to bars, I have never been in any kind of trouble, except with this. I am scared for myself, but more importantly, my son and unborn child. I would appreciate some kind of legitimate advice or a story about someone's personal experience with this. PLEASE DO NOT WRITE SOMETHING RUDE OR NASTY. I am worried enough, I can't sleep, I can't eat and I have on and off panic attacks. My court date is on the 20th, I don't want to worry constantly until then.

    Thanks.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    Judges do not take lightly those that commit crimes with their children in tow.

    You want something to make you feel better before court. I don't know of anything to say that will do that.
  3. #3
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like your lawyer pretty much gave you the answer. You are not on probation ,and this is a misdemeanor.Jail time is highly unlikely. The fact that you cooperated will not help at all. I do not think custody will be an issue in this situation. Did anyone even notify childrens services? In most cases hiring private counsel is usually better,but since you can't you will have to get by wiyh what you have. At this point you should not be talking to the judge before the hearing,let your lawyer handle things.goodluck.
  4. #4
    Indiana Filer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by newmom2 View Post
    I don't drink much at all,
    I think child Services needs to be notified so they can protect your unborn child.
  5. #5
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave33 View Post
    Sounds like your lawyer pretty much gave you the answer. You are not on probation ,and this is a misdemeanor.Jail time is highly unlikely. The fact that you cooperated will not help at all. I do not think custody will be an issue in this situation. Did anyone even notify childrens services? In most cases hiring private counsel is usually better,but since you can't you will have to get by wiyh what you have. At this point you should not be talking to the judge before the hearing,let your lawyer handle things.goodluck.
    You are wrong. Jail time is NOT unlikely. This consists of not only petty theft but also child endangerment. She committed a crime with her child there. Hopefully child services is called and they remove her child from her due to her actions. The police should have contacted Children Services.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  6. #6
    dave33 is offline Senior Member
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    Jail time is unlikely. She was not charged with child endangerment. Petty theft being a misdemeanor and her not being on probation strongly lead to a probationary sentence. Although she drinks,and may have consumed alcohol while pregnant, that is unrelated to the charges. She would have to be charged for a more severe crime for jail time to be likely.

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