court date question in IL... help help help!!


I’ve gotten myself in a bit of a problem and need to turn to you. I’ll give you a brief rundown of what happened then we can discuss what I’m dealing with.
The state is Illinois. The first scenario happened in the grocery store. It was late and the cleaning crew was starting rounds. I had eco-friendly bags which I was doing my shopping with. I didn’t want to put them down for fear that the already paid for bags would be thrown out by maintenance. Realizing I forgot my Credit card in my car, I jaunted outside to one of the first stalls where I was parked. I got my card and just as I returned in, I was stopped, the police were called….It was no good explaining to the clerk the situation. The police came. And that’s that
The second incident happened at another store. I have a VERY back case of the runs that day. I go to the the store to get anti- diahheal. Upon having the box, the urge hits me, I run to the bathroom to do my business. Apparently a store clerk saw me enter the bathroom and I recognized this. I quickly placed the bottle in the waste basket (wrong thing to do, I know.) I wash my hands leaving the bottle in the waste basket and making my exit out of the store. Oh no! I completely forget that I had a bottle in my pocket from earlier that day because I had the runs all day. However, this bottle had like 7 pills left and clearly used already and not new. They didn’t see it as that. So they arrest me. sigh for $9.
Here’s where I stand, I’ve been speaking with the assistant attorney for the county. He offered me a plea deal on the first case. The second case came up and he said he has to submit an offer to the state’s attorney. The problem Is that my court date is tomorrow and the the assistatnt country attorney informed me that the stat’s attorney has 18 months to submit an offer. I don’t know what to do. The assistant attoney said I must show up for court or a warrant couldn’t be issued for my arrest.

With my court date pending tomorrow what do I say? I’m so confused about saying something like ‘uh the states attorney hasn’t gotten back to me yet, how do I deal with this? how does the court deal with the states attorney being slow? Do I say anything to the judge regarding the submission of the offer? Should I expect some type of sentencing tomorrow? If so,what do you you think I should expect.
PLEASE help! I Know you are not my lawyer and I’m not taking any of this as legal advice.

But, as always pleasy PM if you please

I have no idea what kind of hearing this is, and I know nothing of your state law or any criminal law or procedure for that matter, and you are not my client, and this is not legal advice.

Sometimes people try to buy themselves some time to get an attorney, such as a public defender.

I am a cop not a lawyer. I would advise you to get a lawyer. I never advise against getting a lawyer but I will usually say that in minor matters such as traffic tickets you can usually get the same deal without one. This is a criminal matter. I would never proceed with a criminal charge without a lawyer. If you go in and say you need time to get a lawyer or to apply for the public defender you should be able to get a continuance. Just know that PDs are not for everyones use. You usually have to prove financial hardship.

Definitely show up to court tomorrow. Is this an arraignment or trial? Regardless, tell the judge that you have not been able to get a lawyer yet, and that you have talked to the prosecutor and you are still waiting on word of a plea deal. Hopefully that will be enough to halt any proceedings.

I’m also not a lawyer, so I don’t know any specifics. Please let us know what happens. But whatever you do, do NOT fail to attend court tomorrow!!

p.s. Just wondering - why do you want to accept a plea deal in the first case? It seems pretty cut-and-dried that you are not guilty. Obviously an attorney would be best to advise you, but if you feel you have a case, why not go to trial?

I think you’re all right. Today I’m going to go in and ask for a continuence and apply for a public defender. I’ll mentioned I talked to the prosecutor and I’m still waiting word on a plea deal.
Any other advice to give in the interim?

Just do not be surprised if you get turned down when you ask for the PD. As heard on TV “…If you can not afford an attorney one will be provided for you…” The court determines if you can afford one, not you. In the court I frequent they have a worksheet for you to fill out. The judge then determines if you meet the standards. It should not effect getting a continuance. You would have to find and pay for your own lawyer.

Also, for the first case where I was retrieving my credit card, I received an arraignment for which I plead not guilty. The case was considered a public ordinance…
the second case, the officer saw the first case pending and actually wrote it as a misdemeanor. In this situation It doesn’t appear that I was given an arraignment, just a bench trial. Is this common? These cases also appear to be happeninig on the same day (today) is it common for similar cases to be handled together>

Yes and yes. I work in NJ so the terms are different. Here you can either commit a crime (1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th degree) or a disorderly persons offense. Many other states call them felonys and misdemeanors. If you are charged with a crime and the county prosecutor decides not to downgrade it, it will go before a grand jury for an indictment. For this reason they are also known as indictable crimes. Disorderly Persons offenses are heard at the municipal court level and there are no grand jury appearances. The grand jury’s purpose is to hand down indictments. No indictment is needed for a DP. No special arraignment is needed.

It is also common for multiple offenses for one defendant to be heard on one day. That is usually just a housekeeping/scheduling thing for the court clerk. Things are different from state to state but they are usually pretty similar.

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You definitely need to talk to a lawyer who is licensed in your state about this. You can get some more information about public defenders here: Illinois

and legal aid here: Illinois Legal Aid Online

You can get more specific information about available legal services from the court clerk.

I’m sorry but I need to close this thread.

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