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Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs’s Answers

4,611 total


  • TAKEN TO BACK ROOM FOR SHOPLIFTING at Sears

    My close friend is anxious because they were taken to back room and questioned. He admitted to shoplifting under 25 dollars but he did not sign paper work? What is the probability that criminal charges will be filed against him since he did not s...

    Joshua’s Answer

    In my experience the police are usually called immediately if they are going to be called at all. So the decision of Sears security not to call the police then and there is a good thing, but it is not the end of the matter. Your friend certainly could be prosecuted at any time until the statute of limitations expires. It is of no consequence that he did not sign anything. His oral confession can be put into evidence against him through the testimony of the loss prevention officer, and that could be more than enough to get him found guilty. In general I agree with Ms. Goldstein that it is better not to pay a civil demand, and for the very reasons that she summarizes in her answer. But there are exceptions and there are cases where it may be better to pay the demand, especially if the untoward consequences can be mitigated by the intervention of an attorney. If the police get involved your friend should definitely consult an attorney before having any contact with any officer. It might be a good idea to consult an attorney now, just in case.

    And yes, indeed, there could be immigration consequences on which, however, I am no expert.

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  • What happens if I witness someone shoplifting but didn't tell?

    Me and my cousin went to a store and my cousin shoplifted and I saw it but kept it to myself.

    Joshua’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Detzky, with this clarification. In practice, as opposed to in legal theory, it does not matter what was in your secret heart. If the circumstances are such that you reasonably appear to an outside observer (either the merchant or the police) to have been a companion, accomplice or lookout, you are in danger of being charged and in danger of conviction.

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  • Can you be charged with disorderly conduct stemming out of an false arrest and illegal search of car and person nothing found..

    The police followed my son home on our driveway using no lights or sirens. When he got out of the vehicle and noticed them on the driveway a conversation ensued whereby they say they observed some traffic violations. They asked for his license and...

    Joshua’s Answer

    Just on the basis of your posting I do not see a basis for a disorderly conduct charge. Pardon me for saying that this suggests to me that there is more to this story than you have told us and that, regardless whether there is or not, the story that the police will testify to in court is not going to be exactly the same as what you have recited in your posting.

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  • If charges are dropped before trial or cleared of all charges in trial, do I have legal recourse ?

    My wife used company credit cards for personal reasons at her former place of employment. I knew nothing of this until a search warrant was served at our home to look for those items. I was charged with the same crime afterwards, although there is...

    Joshua’s Answer

    A lot depends on what you mean when you say you have been "charged." Has there been a grand jury indictment returned against you? If you have been charged by information (i.e., on the authority of the prosecutor rather than be a grand jury), has there been a probable cause hearing? If the answer to either question is "yes," then I would think that the probability of a successful suit for damages is quite small because either a judge or a grand jury has examined the evidence and determined that there is adequate basis for a criminal charge to proceed. That would seem to leave you high and try unless you can demonstrate that somebody knowingly and intentionally provided perjured testimony to the grand jury or to the preliminary hearing judge. I would consult a civil rights attorney in Virginia for the answer to your specific question, but it is much more important that you obtain counsel to represent you on the criminal case, and that you address that danger first.

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  • Cops creating fake profiles to stalk individuals of interest - they violate terms of service of the website...

    My understanding is that police often violate the terms of service of a website (Facebook, Twitter, a company website someone they want to web-stalk, etc.) and sign up using fake personas or troll their targets using fake profiles. Question is, wh...

    Joshua’s Answer

    First, note that I have not researched this question and that this answer represents an initial, off-the-cuff impression. My thought is that although there may be a terms-of-service violation (note I said there may be) I no constitutional violation or other illegality that would warrant suppression of any evidence so acquired. So even if you were technically correct I doubt that your observation would have any practical value in the defense of a prosecution developed through an internet investigation.

    You would have a tough time persuading any court to adopt a rule that would make the internet a safer place for the activity that is usually the target of this kind of investigation.

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  • What form do i need to file a habeas corpus motion challenging the constituionality of my conviction and sentance.

    I have already served the time, can I still challenge my conviction? Also do I need an attorney?

    Joshua’s Answer

    Are you asking about federal habeas corpus or state habeas corpus? If it is Washington state habeas, I defer to my Washington colleagues. If you are asking about a federal habeas corpus petition to challenge a state court conviction, there is a form for a Section 2254 habeas corpus petition available from the clerk of the federal district court.

    But be warned. The form is not going to do you much good. The federal court wants to use its court form because the form will require you to answer in detail all of the myriad basic procedural status questions that the judge will need to know, so you are less likely to overlook important background material. But when it comes to the critical part, stating your claim in a clear and persuasive manner, the form leaves you on your own and just tells you to explain your claim, which is as much use as if it said, "All right, now what do you have to say for yourself."

    You are in a bind, I am afraid. Federal habeas corpus is ferociously complicated and difficult. Even among fine and experienced criminal defense attorneys, relatively few lawyers are really at home with this kind of litigation. And it is not easy to get counsel appointed. Ask the clerk for the form (it may be available on line from the clerk's office, too) and do your best.

    My recollection is that you can still file a federal habeas if you have served your prison sentence, but if you have been discharged from all restraint (prison, parole, etc.) and your sentence is completely served then you may have a problem. But don't trust me on that one. I have not looked it up in a long time.

    Good luck.

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  • What are the chances of early termination of probation being denied even with PO stating she is behind me 100%

    Ive been on house arrest since oct 16, 2014. my one year is currently approaching to be let off. however, i am due for another full year of probation once my house arrest is complete. since i have been completely compliant my officer has asked me ...

    Joshua’s Answer

    From a judge's point of view there was a reason that you got a year of house arrest to be followed by another year of probation. Yes, it is good that you have obeyed your conditions, but after all that is what you were supposed to do, and what you had to do to keep from having your probation revoked altogether. An easy-going judge might grant you early termination, but you can't just get it for the asking. Your PO's support obviously will help, but it is the judge, not the PO, who decides. The facts of your case will make a difference, too. Better talk to a local attorney who knows something about how your judge looks at this kind of request. Good luck, but there is no certainty here.

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  • Can I get a speeding ticket dismissed if the police officer did not write down the color of my vehicle and also lost sight of me

    I was around a corner out of the sight of the officer still driving and it took him about 45 seconds for him to finally catch up to my vehicle. I passed him at night and didn't notice him till he turned on the lights

    Joshua’s Answer

    Those are not grounds for dismissal. You can argue those facts at trial and hope that they create a reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge, in which you would be found not guilty.

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  • What can I be charged with if I took someone else's prescription in a suicide attempt?

    I am on probation for drug possesion and took someone else's narcotic prescription in a suicide attempt

    Joshua’s Answer

    Theft and possession of a controlled substance are two obvious possibilities, but the potential charges are limited only by the imagination of the prosecutor. And of course, whether you are charged with a new offense or not you could find yourself facing a petition to revoke your probation.

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