The National Trial Lawyers AIOCLA 2015 10 Best NAFDD 2nd Consecutive Year DUI Attorney


Monthly Archives: September 2013

Question: “I had two strikes – attempted burglary, and burglary. I have a third strike, arson, but it was struck. What happens if I get a drug charge or a felony in the future? Do I get life? Should I move to another state, in order to make things okay?”

Answer: You are in a very serious situation. Moving out of state will not make things okay. A strike stricken for purposes of disposition in one case does not remove that strike from your record. You would be best suited contacting an experienced, local criminal defense attorney to best represent you.

Question: “I was caught shoplifting. They took my information, and told me I would get a letter in the mail within 2-4 weeks, and that I would have to pay a fine between $50-$500. They said if I don’t pay the fine, they will involve the court and it will go on my record. How long will it take for the letter to come in the mail? Once the fine is paid, does the incident close?”

Answer: Nothing will go on your record unless you are arrested and/or convicted. However, unfortunately, being told that this will end with a payment of a fine is not necessarily true. In my experience, I have had clients contact me for charges filed against them while they were making the arranged payments. What you are likely to receive is a letter from an attorney who handles their loss prevention recovery, which will include both the cost of the merchandise, as well as the attorney’s fees for obtaining the recovery from you. While you’ve likely made a statement already, I’d suggest you contact an attorney who can negotiate on your behalf, and further, if charges are ultimately filed against you, may be able to arrange a civil compromise whereby the store agrees not to prosecute upon paying the costs, if any, of the merchandise taken or damaged.

Question: “I got caught shoplifting and they sent a letter saying I had to pay a fine. I stole something that was worth $5, and it was returned unopened. The police were never called. Is this going to show up on my criminal record, or a background check? Do I check “yes” or “no” when asked if I have been convicted of a crime?”

Answer: As of now, no. In the future, not likely. You have not been prosecuted or convicted yet. It also doesn’t appear that you have been arrested, so there is nothing to appear on your record. Depending on when the event took place, and a statute of limitations, I cannot state with confidence that you cannot be prosecuted at a later time. On a job application, you can check “no” at this point because you have yet to suffer a conviction.

Question: “For a first time offender, what is the best possible outcome I can get for a misdemeanor?”

Answer: Each case is different, and the defenses and arguments to be made vary from case to case, even when the charges are the same. With respect to whether you can keep your record clean, the answer is yes, possibly, in this type of case it is sometimes possible to complete informal diversion whereby you complete some tasks, return, and upon proof of completion, you obtain some benefit ranging from a reduced charge to, in some cases, a dismissal. A pardon would not be applicable in your case. However, should it be necessary, you could seek an expungement to clean your record. Consult with an attorney to represent you in this matter, and explain the possible outcomes with you further.