Question: ”My 20-year-old friend robbed three people at gunpoint (no bullets inside the gun) and only stole their cellphones. This was not gang related, and there were no injuries. What is the minimum and maximum charge he is looking at?”
Answer: This is considered a robbery with an enhancement for use of a firearm, a very serious crime with a long prison commitment attached to it. Your friend is likely looking at 12 years, minimum. 2 years for the robbery and 10 years for the gun. The fact that the gun may not have been loaded is irrelevant. This is a very serious crime, that requires immediate counsel. Hire an attorney as soon as possible.
Question: ”I was accused of shoplifting, and am awaiting trial. I am also in the process of applying for jobs. I have been responding on application as ‘never convicted of a crime.’ Will the pending case show on an employment background check?”
Answer: It will be visible, though only as an arrest. Whether or not it must be disclosed depends on the employment opportunity, as some ask for convictions and pending cases that you may have. With respect to your options, it’s likely that you will have to take the case to trial, as, for whatever reason, you are finding no success negotiating a resolution.
Question: ”I was held at a store and accused of shoplifting. I left my information and was allowed to leave. Can I be arrested at a later date? Will I receive a letter to appear in court? Might they have a warrant out for my arrest?”
Answer: Yes, you can still be prosecuted. However, absent a warrant for failing to appear in court, it’s unlikely that law enforcement would come out and arrest you, as the case would not likely go forward by arrest warrant. With respect to the next portion of your question, it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific timeframe within which you’d receive a notice to appear. It’s unlikely that the case would proceed by arrest warrant, though that’s not because it wouldn’t “qualify,” but rather because it would simply be more likely that you’d receive a notice. If, however, you failed to appear at a court appearance a bench warrant would issue for you. You can contact the city attorney’s office to inquire whether a case has been filed or whether a warrant exists.