Crime & Law Enforcement Issues & Death Penalty/foodstamps, DHR, unemployment
QUESTION: My brother and I were arrested for theft(2)counts and endangerment of child.My brother's children were not with us. My 9yr old daughter was with us when the police arrested us. DHR has placed her with my father and his wife. I have supervised visitation. I am unemployed (fired) and receive food stamps, unemployment benefits and assistance for my mortgage. The theft was furniture and other items from mobile-home businesses. What are my options if charged with a misdemeanor of a felony? What does this mean for my child?
Sorry for delay. Generally a misdemeanor is punished by a fine and/or imprisonment of less than 1 year. Generally a felony is punished by a fine and/or imprisonment of more than 1 year. Unless the charges are dismissed you are more than likely looking at some time spent in jail/prison. If you have no family care plan in place regarding your daughter, meaning a relative who will legally agree to care for her, then she could be placed in foster care. My suggestion is to apply for a public defender so as to work out your best legal defense.
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QUESTION: What happens to all the benefits I am receiving? My case-worker has yet to meet with me nor set up a care plan. I think I have an arraignment in Oct.7. I'm not sure what else it would be. In your opinion, should I hire an attorney? My brother and I are pleading no contest, guilty. I won't have the money to pay the fine. What do you recommend? Thankyou again.
Yes, I would apply for a public defender, which is free if you are very low income/indigent, to supervise over the details of your plea. If you are incarcerated your benefits stop. They will start again when you are released. The court will most likely have a payment plan in place for any fine(s) you might be required to pay. Ask at the courthouse how to find the public defender's office and to receive an application so as to apply for a public defender.