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William W. Swor
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William Swor’s Answers

82 total


  • How can I get my record expunged/sealed?

    I am currently up for a promotion at work and am scared of failing a background check. I am in the process of being charged with larceny (misdemeanor) and will be sentenced the 12th of this month. I plead guilty and the judge accepted my plea and ...

    William’s Answer

    Because this is a deferred sentence situation, you will have a criminal record during the period of deferral, that means you will have a record while you're on probation. One way to avoid failing the background check might be to delay the sentencing date until after you receive the promotion. The problem with that is a background check might, or might not, reveal the fact that you were charged. If it is a larceny in the District Court, it is possible that arrest might not be reported yet.

    After you complete the probation and the period of deferral, the case will be dismissed and you will have no criminal record. However, even after you successfully complete the probation and the charges against you are dismissed, the arrest will still be on your record. What's more, if the conviction is picked up by any one of the more than 2000 services that track and report convictions, the dismissal will not remove you from their lists. You will need to use the services of a record correction service like the National Expungment Database Center (www.nedcenter.com) which has the ability to reach out to all of these reporting services, and compel them to remove your information from their database.

    You should discuss all of these matters with your current attorney. If you are not represented by an attorney, you should be.

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  • For a 12 month federal sentence with 1 year supervised release how much imprisonment time will someone serve?

    Do a person have to serve their entire 12 month in federal prison? Is there anything such as good time? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    William’s Answer

    A person sentenced to 12 months will do the entire 12 months. It is only if he was sentenced to a year and a day will he get good time credits.

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  • Is it legal for a 17 and 14 year old to have sex? The 17 year old is still a minor so is it legal?

    i saw a chart on the state of ohio and it said that it was legal for a 17 year old to have sex with a 14 year old and there age of consent is 16 so i'm guessing its the same in Michigan maybe?

    William’s Answer

    The age of consent is state specific, that means that what is legal in Ohio may not be legal in Michigan. In fact, it is not legal for a 17-year-old to have sex with a 14-year-old in Michigan. It does not matter what the gender of the 17-year-old is. The law of the State of Michigan is that it is not possible for a 14-year-old to give consent to have sex. Sex between a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old, if discovered, could result in felony charges being brought against the 17-year-old. Any conviction would result in the 17-year-old being placed on the sex offender registry for up to life.

    What's more, even if the case were disposed of in a way that did not result in a conviction or sex offender registration, the fact of the arrest and charge would be public record, and, in this age of the Internet, could have permanent adverse consequences for the 17-year-old's ability to attend school, obtain employment, or find housing.

    This may not seem fair or realistic, but it is the status of the law.

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  • Are material witnesses entitled to an attorney if detained? How can the cops and prosecution have a witness arrested?

    If a person is arrested as a material witness, are they entitled to speak to attorney before going before the judge? What type of information do the cops/prosecution go on to have a witnesses arrested? I was arrested and jailed for a week as a ...

    William’s Answer

    Your factual description does not sound like you were arrested as a material witness, but rather because they believe they have probable cause that you are about to commit a crime. Someone can only be arrested as a material witness if the police/prosecutor go before the judge and asked the judge for a warrant because they believe the witness will not honor a subpoena and appear.

    Because of the potential for criminal sanctions inherent in a witness's appearance before the court and testimony under oath, a witness is entitled to counsel. The request for counsel should be made by the witness on his/her initial appearance before a judicial officer. In federal court, a material witness who is arrested will be taken immediately before a federal judicial officer. If this is in state court, the witness should be taken before the judge that issued the material witness warrant as soon as they are taken into custody. If there is any delay, the witness should simply say, "I want to speak to an attorney before I say anything."

    You definitely need to speak to an attorney before this happens again.

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  • HOW DO I GET OFF PROBATION EARLY?

    MY CASE IS FOR WELFARE FRAUD, I HAVE ALREADY COMPLETE TWO YRS ON PROBATION MY SENTENCE IS 5 YRS. ALL COURT COST AND FINES ARE PAID. MY RESTITUTION IS OVER $20,000 FOR THE STATE OF MI. NO ONE WILL HIRE ME WITH THIS ON MY RECORD. I AM A CERTIFICATED...

    William’s Answer

    The first problem with your question is your assumption that you will not appear on OTIS merely because your probation is terminated. Otis reports on all offenders, not just active cases. Having said that, closing your probation is important. How is your relationship with your probation officer? Have you discussed this with him/her? If you have paid your fines and fees, and done everything else asked of you, he/she might be able to enter into a payment plan.

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  • Seeking attorney licensed to practice in federal courts of Virginia and Military courts.

    I am seeking an attorney who is licensed to practice before the federal courts of Virginia and the military courts. I am looking for representation to go to the appellate court to review and overturn a DUI Manslaughter conviction that happened on...

    William’s Answer

    I would recommend David Baugh, the former federal prosecutor and capital defender in Virginia, who is now in private practice in Richmond. He will charge you a reasonable consultation fee and give you a fair assessment of the likelihood of success. His information is:

    David P. Baugh, Esq. PLC

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  • I am 22 girl, living right now in Jordan, i was in Michigan until 2009, in that year a court in Garden city issued a verdict

    against me, retail fraud third class, i paid a fine and voluntary work for a week, now i want a lawyer to remove this from my record, because i committed similar misdemeanor months before that, i want to remove it in order i can enter USA and get ...

    William’s Answer

    This question requires both a criminal lawyer and an immigration lawyer. The convictions can be expunged, but the fact of the convictions and their expungment will still have to be disclosed on the visa application. There are attorneys that can assist you with both facets of your case.

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  • My husband cut his ankle monitor off ten years ago and now is in jail for violation of probation. what is the consequenes for th

    This charge

    William’s Answer

    The probation violation carries the possibility that he could go to jail for the statutory maximum sentence. A judge I knew a long time ago used to remind defendants that probation was just serving your time out of jail instead of in jail.

    There are a number of facts that we need to know in order to answer this question. What Court? What was the charge? Who was the judge? How long had he been on probation when he decided to do cut off his monitor? Did he have any prior probation violations? How did he get picked up? What did he do during the 10 years he was out?

    I'm sure by now your husband has a lawyer appointed to him. Have you spoken to the lawyer?

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  • What is the difference between treason and sedition?

    Is treason and sedition considered federal offenses only or do the states have laws on the books for these as well?

    William’s Answer

    Are you just asking, or is there a specific fact set that you are concerned about? Several states have laws against treason. However it is not certain that they are valid since treason is an act against a sovereign. That depends on the specific definition contained in the statute and its application. Since you are in California, the statute referenced by the first response would be applicable to you. It is a vestige of the days when California considered itself a republic. Whether or not it applies to the situation you are considering would have to be explored by an attorney who has all of the facts before him/her.

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  • Can I answer "no" to the question of having ever pled guilty to a misdemeanor? I asked before but never got a definitive answer

    In the state of Michigan, I was granted and completed HYTA status last year for use of marijuana. I know that HYTA is not a conviction whatsoever. But, if I am asked on an application about having ever pled guilty to a misdemeanor, can I answer no...

    William’s Answer

    I agree that this employer understands the issue of deferred sentencing, and is asking the question in a much broader fashion than the traditional "conviction" question. Both Michigan attorneys who have responded to the question are giving correct, if apparently contradictory, answers. I question the legality of even asking the question, since it does not result in a conviction. I also question your assumption that "they search the FBI database." Only the FBI has access to that database, so unless you are applying for a job with the federal government, I think your assumption is flawed. I think that you should speak with an employment attorney before deciding how to answer the question. We do not practice employment law, but can refer you to several good employment attorneys.

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