What will happen at my court date for ID theft? 34 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I turned myself in today for ID theft and I now have a court date in a week. Now I need to know what can happen at the court date. I can't afford a lawyer and I'm very scared about the whole thing. I have NEVER been in any trouble so this is all new to me.

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Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
Without having more information about the magnitude of the theft, I cannot give a definitive answer to your question, however, in any case, you are facing a crime with possible jail time. If the amount stolen is not considerable, there's a good chance at probation, but in any case, ask the court to appoint a public defender to represent you. A public defender is free of charge, and especially meant for indigent people, like you.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/17/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
your first court date will be your arraignment . at that time you will be told what the charges are and will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty you will also be told what your sentence would be if you plead guilty.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/17/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, I would need much more details to answer you but if you cannot afford an attorney you may be able to get a court appointed attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/12/2013
Bloom Legal, LLC
Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
You will likely be required to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest at your hearing. If you cannot afford an attorney then you should consider requesting that the court appoint a public defender to your case.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 6/16/2011
Goolsby Law Office
Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
I would recommend that you talk with family and friends about helping you to hire a criminal attorney. In the alternative, in Georgia, you should apply for a public defender to represent you. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    You need to apply for the public defender or other court appointed attorney to assist you before you do anything else.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber | Marshall Tauber
    If jail is a possibility then the court has to appoint an attorney to represent you who is required to advise you of your rights & the possible outcomes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Court will appoint an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You say in your summary is that you cannot afford an attorney and it is your first offense. You will be given an assigned attorney who will most likely plead the case to a Petty Larceny misdemeanor or a Disorderly Conduct. You may even be able to get an ACD dismissal or have the charges dismissed if the DA cannot prove the case. Either way you will not go to jail and the worst case scenario is that you will be placed on probation for a year on a misdemeanor plea.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    If the range of punishment includes jail time, you are entitled to a public defender. At your first appearance, the judge will ask you how you plead. You will say not guilty. Then the judge will ask you if you can hire an attorney. You simply tell him that you can't afford it and that you want a public defender. However, public defenders are reserved for the poorest of the poor. If you own a car you may not qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Depending on the law in your state, you may be booked into jail or administratively booked. The latter consists of a trip to the jail where you will be finger printed and photographed. In court, you may have the charge or charges read to you and the court will set conditions of release. In other words, the court may set bail or release you on personal recognizance with conditions. Once that's out of the way, you may enter a plea or be given a future court date. You have the right to have an attorney appointed at no cost to you if you are determined to be indigent or unable to afford your own attorney. There are other things that will go on at subsequent hearings. Ultimately, you may plead guilty or make the state prove the charges against you at trial. In some counties, they have a program called "diversion." Diversion involves waiving your speedy trial rights and a period of probation. It also requires you to sigh a confession. I am admitted to practice in the State of Washington. If you have any questions about Washington Law, please give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    The first court date is usually unimportant, except that you receive a formal copy of your charges. You should also start application for a public defender. Do not talk about the case with anyone. If you do not qualify for a public defender, then the court will supply you with a list of names of attorneys who work on a sliding scale.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    If you are indigent - unable to hire a lawyer because you are disabled, cannot work, receiving government financial assistance, etc., then you may qualify for a court appointed lawyer. If you are not indigent - you own property or can work - then you will have to hire your own lawyer. You should call at least 5 area lawyers and talk over the phone about the case with them and get estimated fees. When you find 2 or 3 within your fee range, make appointments to visit with them and talk in more detail about your case and then make a decision on who to hire. Identity theft is a serious felony offense for which you could go to prison.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    You should ask for a Court Appointed Attorney. Do not make any statements about your case to the Court or to police or to anyone investigating your case. Such statements could be used against you later. When in Court, ask the Judge to appoint an attorney to represent you. There may be some inquiry into your ability to pay, but you have a right to an attorney in most cases.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Your first appearance in court should be limited to informing you of the specific charge and penalty you face and inquiry about what you wish to do about an attorney. If you are indigent (not financially able to pay for your own attorney), you should ask the judge to appoint an attorney for you. You should not act as your own attorney, there are too many ways you could jeopardize your case.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    If you cannot afford a lawyer, the court will usually appoint you one. You would likely be assigned a court-appointed lawyer and you will be given some time to meet with the attorney and figure out a plan of action.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    At your first court date, they will address issues of pre-trial release (you will most likely remain released since you are currently out of custody); they will set new court dates; and they will explain to you how to get a public defender if you qualify.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    ID theft is a serious crime, your not likely to go to jail by just appearing for court as required, but you are going to have to request a lawyer if you can't afford to hire one. The charge is a serious crime and something that can impact your life for years to come.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    This sounds like a first appearance or arraignment hearing. These are usually an opportunity to find out exactly what charges are being brought against you. It is also a chance to let the court know you do not have any money and apply for an appointed attorney. You need to be on time for court or even a bit early. Dress nicely, as though you were going to a job interview. Be respectful toward the court ("yes, ma'am/sir as appropriate. Do not try to argue your case. That's what the lawyers is for.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You need to be represented by an attorney. Depending on the severity of the charge, you can ask the court to appoint an attorney to represent you free of charge if you cannot afford one. Everything else you ask about is very case-specific and you will need to consult with your own attorney. However, on your first court date you are usually "arraigned", which typically involves a public reading to you of the charges you are facing and certain of your rights as a criminal defendant.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Your initial court appearance is called an arraignment. At the arraignment the court will advise you of the charges against you and the possible penalties, will advise you of your rights including your right to an attorney, court appointed if you can't afford one and if the charge is within the jurisdiction of the court, i.e. a misdemeanor, will ask how you plead. If it is a felony, at the district court arraignment the court will set a date for a preliminary examination.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Lowenstein Law Office
    Lowenstein Law Office | Anthony Lowenstein
    Your case will go through the usual criminal procedure. For more information, please see my website at or call me for a legal consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    It all depends on what you did with the identity theft. If you used his ID or credit cards to run up bills in his name, that could be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount. If it's a felony, you will be entitled to court-appointed counsel if you cannot afford one. If it's a misdemeanor, you probably won't get a court-appointed attorney. With felonies you have a right to a preliminary examination at the district court where the prosecutor has to show probable cause (a very low standard) to allow the case to proceed to the circuit court where a trial will take place if a plea agreement is not reached. If it's a misdemeanor, the case will stay at the district court and the case goes straight to trial if no plea is reached. If you have nothing on your record, chances are you could get off with probation or a diversion program which could keep the charges off your record.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    If you can't afford a lawyer, the court will appoint one for you. ID theft can cover a lot of ground, from a petty misdemeanor to s string of serious felonies, but it is unlikely to lead to serious jail time for a first-time offender.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If you're case is in Colorado and you cannot afford an attorney, one can be appointed to you (free of charge), if you meet the income guidelines. What you can be facing depends upon criminal history (if you have none, and you are otherwise doing well, you could be offered probation), and other issues going on with you. You need to find an attorney for at least an initial consultation who can give you a better idea depending upon the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    If you have never been in trouble before, you should end up with probation. Very few people go to jail for a very first offense. However, you really should have a lawyer. If you can't afford one the court will appoint one for you. If you can find the money for private counsel you should really try to have someone there to protect your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    First of all it depends whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. If you are charged with a misdemeanor then they will ask how you plead and if you want a court appointed attorney. You do not want to plead guilty. If you do, you lose all bargaining power and will get no deal. There almost always can be something better worked out. If it is a felony they will set bond, read the charges and ask if you need a attorney. In this case you need an attorney. You would not take out your own appendix; so why would you try to deal with this without an attorney. Both will be equally painless and risk free.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Your first court date is called an arraignment this is where you plead not guilty and request the services of the public defender if you cannot afford an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law
    Tracy L Henderson, Attorney at Law | Tracy L. Henderson
    If it is a misdemeanor, you will likely suffer a fine and community service. If it is a felony, you could face worse.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Identity theft is a very serious offense, a felony, and can have serious consequences if you are found guilty. You should secure counsel. If you do not have the funds to hire an attorney you should request that the Court determine whether you qualify for a court-appointed attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    If you are found to be indigent by the court, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you. One exception, however, is where the crime for which you are charged does not entail the possibility of jail. Another is where the judge makes a finding in advance that even if convicted there shall be no jail time in your case. Hopefully, for your sake, you will end up having a private attorney appointed. Some states utilize private attorneys for indigent representation, and by and large those are better defense systems. Unlike a state employee public defender, who almost invariably is grossly overburdened with cases, a private appointed lawyer will likely be able to more zealously and skillfully represent you. Plus, private lawyers are usually able to exercise more independent judgment on behalf of their clients. Moreover, a private appointed attorney typically will be more experienced than a public defender. Do not discuss your case with anyone whatsoever except your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    No attorney can predict the outcome, nor even give an intelligent opinion, without reviewing and knowing all the charges, evidence, reports, testimony, priors history, etc. When charged with a felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison if convicted; on a misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail. If you cant afford counsel, then apply for the Public Defender, He can answer your questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    First offense, no prior history, if no huge values taken, you will likely get probation with no time. The court will appoint an attorney, a public defender to represent you at the first hearing you go to. Do not be afraid to ask for one if the police question you. You are not required to make their case for them, so if you have not already sunk your own ship by talking too much, shut up and ask for a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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