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: “I am looking for an affordable lawyer that would be able to give the best advice on my case. Charges are pc487(a) Pc1203 (e) (4) and enhancement.”
Answer: We can’t really substitute in as attorney of record for one appearance then leave the case should it not conclude that day. I would suggest you get a free consultation, then determine who you feel most comfortable and confident in, and retain him or her.
Question: ”I got caught shoplifting at a department store, merchandise was totaling $250+. I haven’t received a civil demand letter yet. I do, however, have a court date. I have a clean record. No police were involved, but I was sent away with a court date. Can I go to the court, and apologize, and hope the judge with dismiss it and reduce the fine? Or, can I write an apology letter to the company and bring a copy to court?”
Answer: Going to court and apologizing is not sound advice to follow. In fact, if you were to try that, the judge may stop you and direct you to speak to an attorney, as your statements can still be used against you. Contact an attorney to review your case, and the evidence to determine if a defense exists. If not, an attorney can help to negotiate the best plea bargain possible.