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Theft. [a few images to help clarify]

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?Arizona.

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As the images depict, my father could not have removed the sign from its resting place, based on where the finger prints are. He literally could not have.

When he found the sign by a dumpster, he picked it up, placed it in his truck, and headed home. If he had arrived home, he would've learned that the sign belonged to a local business, and would've promptly returned it. It was later in the evening, so he couldn't see what was written on the sign, if anything at all, until he got home.

But on his way home, he was stopped for a minor traffic violation, and the officer saw the sign in the back of his truck, contacted the business owner, who confirmed the sign was currently missing, and took the sign, and charged my father with theft.

In court, my father has been denied the right to an attorney on the grounds that his crime is not punishable by jail-time. I was under the impression that in all criminal cases, you have the right to an attorney, but the judges in this area are bullies. The prosecutor, on the day of the hearing, changed the charges against my father, and my father was not told that in the state of Arizona, you have the right to contest such an action from a prosecutor, so he said nothing as they charged him with a totally different crime.

But it's clear that he didn't take the sing from its storage, but later found it, after someone else had removed it.

In fact, had he not found it there, it probably would've been thrown away the next morning by the dump truck, and the owner would not have recovered it.


Junior Member
My question is to anyone with training as an attorney.

Can the judge actually deny my father the right to legal representation? And based on this scenario, assuming everything I've told you is true, would you say the evidence can clear my father's case?


Senior Member
Since your father is not facing any jail time but seems to be charged with an infraction, the State does not have to hire him an attorney. However, your father can hire his own attorney. This conclusion is based on speculation since you failed to post what criminal charge your father is facing.

By the way, what did he plan on doing with someone else's business sign?


Junior Member

My father salvages a lot of things, in an effort to reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills. He'll reuse anything he can. He'll find an old couch, sew it up, clean it up, and donate it to whatever.

He was at that dumpster, grabbing a lot of items, and one of them was the sign. It was dark, and he couldn't see that it was a business sing he was grabbing. He figured it to be some big flat piece of wood, which might be used for a small table top, if he were to find a small table that needed a new top. Certainly, when he got home, and had some light where he could see what the sign was, he would've returned it, and prevented it from ending up in the dump.

But since he was pulled over on the way home, that never happened.

Regarding the not facing jail time thing, when waiting to see the judge, we saw a lot of other people seeing him.

One guy, about 19 years old, was trembling and scared s***less, so to speak. He approached the bench, as instructed, and the judge began speaking, when it came the guy's turn to speak, he asked the judge if he was going to be given an attorney. The judge said no because no jailtime was being considered, and then told the guy that he could be appointed an attorney, but then he'd have to consider jail time. Naturally, the guy refused the attorney and had to face prosecution without representation.

The judicial system in this area is full of bullies and people on power trips.

I thought if you break any law in the criminal code, you're offered an attorney... I mean, there's no jailtime, but then again, I really don't know the law too well.


Senior Member
"I thought if you break any law in the criminal code, you're offered an attorney"

If you are facing jail AND you cannot afford to hire your own attorney.

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