Many minor cases, or misdemeanors, such as shoplifting, trespassing, prostitution, minor drug offenses, and others begin with a ticket being issued, and the individual being released, rather than being taken to jail. On the ticket, you are given a date, time and courthouse in which to appear. If you don’t appear, a warrant could be issued for your arrest.
When you are at the court, you should be given the chance to speak with a public defender, who is offered free of charge. However, the attorney will have many people to speak with in court, and will not be able to analyze your case at length or discuss any defenses you might have in depth. The attorney will probably only spend a few minutes with you at the initial meeting. In fact, the attorney may attempt to convince you to plead guilty in order to lessen his or her workload. Although this may not sound like a big deal, sometimes these “minor” crimes can have major consequences to your life.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, it is worth your time and money to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will take the time to listen to the circumstances of your arrest and who will help you craft a defense to the crime.