Q: Can a misdemeanor not get on the records if it is a first offense? What should we do? I need a detailed answer for this please. My sister and I recently took some stuff from Kmart and was followed by the police. They took us in the security room and took the stuff and asked for our IDs and other information. The value for stuff totaled $155. We signed some papers for the store and they took our pictures and told us that we were banned from there. The police also gave us tickets and told us that if we called the court before the 10 days we would just pay a fine. We did call, but they said that there is nothing in the system as of yet and that we can not pay a fee we have to go to court and talk. When we asked if we needed a lawyer they said no you talk yourself. I am confused, I have no idea how the legal system works and plus this was something we did on impulse and didn’t even think of the consequences.
What will happen in court should we ask for a public defender since we cannot afford a lawyer. Is there anyway to get the charges dropped so we don’t have it on our record? What type of an attorney do we need? and how much it will cost us in total?
A: It may be possible to have the charges dismissed; however each case is different and a dismissal depends upon many different factors: the specific facts in your case, the strength of the evidence against you, your criminal history, the the prosecuting agency involved etc. Keep in mind that an arrest will always show on your record in the state of Arizona regardless of whether or not you are convicted of a crime. I recommend that you retain private counsel to assist with your case as soon as possible. Good luck.
Kaitlin Verdura, Esq.
Verdura Law Group PLLC