There are many different ways of resolving a theft case other than simply pleading guilty. Even if you think you may be found guilty, showing up to court without a lawyer and taking whatever punishment is handed down is a bad idea. By contacting an Atlanta theft lawyer you are giving yourself the best chance at minimizing the harm of your offense, and ensure that your rights will be protected throughout the entirety of the criminal process. To discuss your case and learn what steps may be available to you, call today.
One of the first things an attorney can do is attempt to use the First Offender Act plea for a felony level theft case. If the evidence is all against a person, using the First Offender Act plea can tell the court to withhold the adjudication of guilt while the person completes a probationary period and some form of punishment. After they have completed everything, generally over the course of a number of years, the court would say that the person successfully completed the case under the First Offender Act and will not have a conviction on their records.
For misdemeanor theft crimes, there is often a pre-trial diversion program available. It is very common in shoplifting cases to have pre-trial diversions, but prosecutors won’t always offer that to a person without an attorney there to walk them through the program, who knows the courtrooms, and knows which courtrooms offer diversion and which courtrooms don’t. The diversion program is similar to first offender except a successive completion of the diversion program in Georgia results in restriction of the records for this particular charge.
For future employment purposes, a diversion program is invaluable as an option to resolve the case when it is on the table. We almost always advise our clients to participate in diversion programs if we are able to negotiate diversion as an option.
Another option might be working with the victim to discuss an amount to reimburse them and perhaps also bring the prosecutor in for negotiations to resolve the case and have it dismissed by simply reimbursing the alleged victim for the amount that was taken.
Different prosecutors have different viewpoints on resolving theft cases. So, it is important to have an experienced attorney who knows the courthouses, prosecutors, and options like dismissal by reimbursement.
Also, if evidence is excluded or there is a lack of evidence or mis-identification defense that can be successfully raised during pre-trial, dismissal for one of these reasons is an excellent way to resolve a case that might otherwise seem too hopeless.
Finally, a simple plea negotiation for a reduced sentence is a possibility. An attorney can do things through negotiations to obtain an option to consider that clients representing themselves simply cannot accomplish when negotiating with the prosecutors. A person who simply pleads guilty without representation and without attorney by their side to give them counseling and guidance results in an unsuccessful outcome of theft cases in Atlanta, Georgia.
A criminal lawyer offers more than just legal representation or a voice in the courtroom. A good lawyer should offer guidance and advice on how best to resolve the case, how best to defend a case, and build a defense from ground up. A lawyer has the experience necessary to guide a person through the first phone call all the way to the completion of their case, whether it is resolved through a not guilty verdict at trial, a dismissal, or a favorable plea.