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Denise Francesca Crawford

Denise Crawford’s Answers

11 total


  • Can I date this girl, I'm 19 she's 16

    So we live in California and I know the age of consent is 18. I'm 19 and this girl and I went on a date. We kissed at the end of the date. I really like her and want a relationship with her. I told my parents and they said no because its illegal a...

    Denise’s Answer

    Do NOT involve yourself with an underage girl. You say her parents are "totally fine" with it now - but their approval can turn on a dime. One bad impression, bad date or silly fight can result in them calling the police on you and having you arrested. The same is true for the girl - if you upset her, anger her, make her jealous, etc, she can always call the police on you and even if you are NOT having sex, or even dating, she just has to SAY you are and you are staring down the barrel of a criminal case from behind bars. I have seen it innumerable times: Even if her allegations are untrue, the cops will arrest you first, ask questions later and you will spend months and months fighting a criminal case - and in the end the jury may not believe you. If you are smart, you will LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS.

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  • How do i convict an adult for statutory rape?

    I am the under aged one in the situation. The age difference was 5 years. If i go to court for statutory rape what are my risks and what could be the adults sentence?

    Denise’s Answer

    If you feel you are the victim of a crime, report it to the police. The adult's sentence depends on the facts and the charge. If you were under 14, the charge is very different than if you were 17. As far as risks go, I don't see criminal liability for you. The risks you run are collateral - such as enduring a possible criminal trial, the details of your sexual encounters being aired in trial and to the police, the inconvenience of being summoned to court, enduring investigation, embarrassment, privacy issues, familial scrutiny, etc.

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  • What type of juvenile offenses are usually reported to federal agencies?

    My offense was PC 484

    Denise’s Answer

    If by juvenile "offense" you mean that there was a true finding (juve word for conviction) the true finding will be reported to the federal and state database. In order to properly answer your question, I need more detail - were you merely arrested? Did you go to court? Was there a true finding? Were you diverted? When you says federal "agencies," what do you mean by that?

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  • What to do when I receive civil demand notice for shoplifting $36 worth of things at urban outfitters?

    took two items and the total amount for both items was $36. I admitted that I stole them. The employee took me to the back. The police did NOT come. I had to sign a paper and was told that I could not go to any Urban Outfitters for the next three...

    Denise’s Answer

    "What happens if I don't pay the civil demand notice? " These demands have driven me crazy my entire career. These letters are often completely illegal as the firms making "demands" are often out of state and not even licensed to practice law in the state of California! They are sent to the unsuspecting and inexperienced citizen with misleading language that leads one to believe that (1) the firm will sue you for a huge amount of money (2) if you just pay, nothing further will happen. If there was a police report/call - the decision to "press charges" is out of the store's hands. The District Attorney's Office brings charges - NOT the store. Once the police send the report to the DA's Office, it is up to them to decide to file criminal charges. (Stores can reach a negotiated civil compromises with defendants in certain cases but that has to be presented to the DA's office and the judge - and the judge has to agree to dismiss the case - but that is another story.) The store has nothing to do with a DA's decision to "press charges." I can't tell you how many times I have been presented with these bologna letters in court by bewildered defendants who paid a lot of money to these bogus firms thinking the case would go away. Bottom Line: Most of those letters are scams so it is well worth your while to present the letter to an attorney before shelling out a penny to them.

    "Will I go to court? " The District Attorney's Office typically makes the filing decision based upon a police report. If the police were not called, there is no police report therefore no vehicle to bring the facts to the attention of the DA's Office. It is highly unlikely the store later contacts the police and requests a police report. It is very unlikely that you will be summoned to court. I can imagine a situation where the store presents your information with a video of the theft incident and requests a police report and citation but their decision to not call the police speaks volumes to their intentions: more likely than not, they will not seek prosecution.

    "What'll happen if I move to a new address? "Will they get my phone number? " "The store will have no way to contact you. The demand letter will likely be returned to sender. Anyone can do investigation but for a $36 petty theft, it would cost more to track you down than it is worth to the store. The police will likewise have a hard time finding you. Since you were not cited, you have no date to appear in court. If you are summoned to court by letter and it never gets to you because of the address change, getting a warrant is tough without notice and proof of service on you.

    "Will it affect my credit if I don't pay? And if I do pay? " I don't see any vehicle for your credit to be affected because they cannot legally assign a debt without a court order or actionable agreement.

    "Will it go on my record?" If you never go to court and were never arrested, nothing goes on your criminal record.

    "If I don't pay, will my name still be on the theft database?" I don't know what database you are talking about. The store may keep some private, internal database and you cannot effect that. As far as public record, there is no such thing as a "theft database."

    If you do end up going to court, seek the assistance of a criminal defense professional before taking any action. Thefts are crimes of moral turpitude and can disqualify you from a job, professional license or security clearance in the future. Based on the facts you presented, however, it is unlikely this case will go beyond the store.

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  • Are juvenile records made visible to prospective employers if you get into trouble with law as an adult? (For a different crime)

    I was booked for felony(forgery,grand theft) as juvenile. I was let go after being asked to perform community service and counseling sessions, no court. The docs recvd at arraignment states" Prosecutor prefiling deferral". As an adult, I was booke...

    Denise’s Answer

    If you never went to court, there was never a true finding that you committed a crime. In adult terms, this means you were never convicted of a crime. If this was a "pre-filing deferral" you were handled informally and you do not have a juvenile record with the court. I am somewhat confused by your sequence of events because you state that at "arraignment" you received documents. If you never went to court, you were never arraigned.

    Juvenile court records are confidential and not available to the public. Unless you are applying for a government security clearance, or a law enforcement position, it is highly unlikely a juvenile record would be discovered through routine background. Welfare and Institutions code 827 prohibits ANY release of any juvenile court record without a court order to any unrelated party. Sealing further safeguards any records. You should check with the probation department that handled your case and ask to seal your records. The probation department should be able to tell you if you (1) have a court record (2) if you do, help you seal that record. Check with probation before you spend money on an attorney.

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  • If restitution is ordered by the court is there any way that I can pay the hospital directly?

    My daughter is 16 years old she was taken to Juvenile hall for Assault with a deadly weapon causing bodily injury . The Victim in this case is 27-years old, I had all the Prior threats this lady emailed my daughter , I would hold my daughter 100%...

    Denise’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Wow. There are so many issues here I don't know where to begin. If this prosecution is in Orange County, your daughter either has a lawyer you hired or was appointed a Deputy Public Defender. I hope you have communicated with your daughter's lawyer about the threats the alleged victim has previously made against your daughter. Depending on the facts, such information may be the basis for a self-defense case which may - pending a positive outcome - eliminate restitution issues completely. Also, I hope you told your daughter's attorney that the alleged victim is currently being prosecuted. This can also tremendously help your daughter's case.

    If your daughter admitted the charges, the alleged victim's threats and drug cases will make no difference in the restitution hearing. The fact there is a restitution order makes me think this case has already been adjudicated. If that is the case, you do have a right to set a restitution hearing. The court will look at evidence to determine the proper restitution amount and make a restitution order. All this requires the alleged victim to respond to the queries for restitution. Many times, victims do not respond to restitution queries so there ends up being no restitution so...don't poke the beehive by making restitution inquiries to the hospital or anywhere else prematurely. I highly recommend you communicate with your daughter's lawyer on all these issues.

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  • Help on my juvenil record trying to join the navy

    i was charged with assult with deadly wepon mistameanor vandalism felony i was only 13 i am now 18,and trying to join the navy i went to the court to see what i can do about it ,and i asked i lawyer that i just saw w...

    Denise’s Answer

    If you never went to court, were only supervised for 6 months with community service and a class, it sounds like you were handled informally under Welfare and Institutions Code 654 with the Probation Department or informally diverted. Typically speaking with variance from county to county, however, felonies are not handled informally so I am quite puzzled by your quandary.

    I would talk to the probation department and have them explain what your file says. If they indicate that there was a "true finding," "admission," or "conviction" in your case, ask Probation to help seal your records, or bring your information and everything you learned from Probation to the Public Defender's Office and ask them to help you seal your records under Welfare and Institutions Code 781.

    Keep in mind that arrests, even juvenile arrests, are maintained virtually forever in law enforcement databases such as the DoJ or FBI databases. The general public can never see the information in these databases but if you are applying for military admission or security clearances, you can count on the arrest showing up.

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  • Juvenile record sealed

    I was arrested as a juvenile 15 years ago. How do I know if today my records are sealed?

    Denise’s Answer

    Juvenile records, generally, are confidential BUT confidential does not mean sealed. Depending on the county, the process for sealing juvenile court records are either through direct petition to the court or administered through the probation department. Welfare and Institutions Code section 781 discusses the circumstances and qualifying offenses which can be sealed. Before you spend money on a private attorney to help seal your records, consult with your local Public Defender's Office who may be able to help you free of charge. If your county uses the Probation Department to administer record sealing, they will help you with your petition. There is a fee involved with sealing but Welfare and Institutions Code 903.3 permits these fees to be waived if you are indigent or the fee will cause you to suffer an undue hardship.

    If you have taken no action to seal your records - it is pretty safe to assume that they are not sealed... (UNLESS your juvenile court adjudication was a successful deferred entry of judgment under Welfare & Institutions Code 790-791; CA Rules of Court 5.800, where your records may have been automatically sealed.) In this information age, it is well worth the time and effort to make SURE your records are sealed.

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  • Rite aid suing me for shop lifting.

    I went shopping to rite aid in California with my baby son. I was placing merchandise on the stroller while I was browsing the aisles. My son needed to use the restroom so I went straight to the restroom. When I was inside the restrooms the securi...

    Denise’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Loss prevention professionals see many cases where a suspected shoplifter uses a stroller to conceal merchandise and leave the store without paying. It is absolutely reasonable to believe parents juggling grabby children, the shopping list, a stroller and its accouterments may accidentally leave a store without paying for an item in the stroller. In your case, you didn't leave the store! I don't see how you can be convicted of shoplifting in such circumstances but that being said, I have seen innumerable incompetent filings by the District Attorney's Office. If you do receive notice from the District Attorney's Office that you have been accused of a crime and must appear in court, seek the assistance of a criminal defense professional immediately. Theft cases, even petty theft, are almost always considered "crimes of moral turpitude" and can have far-reaching collateral consequences as moral turp may be the basis for dismissal or denial of employment, license applications or security clearances.

    As to the $300 law firm demand: these demands have driven me crazy my entire career. These letters are often completely illegal as the firms making "demands" are often out of state and not even licensed to practice law in the state of California! They are sent to the unsuspecting and inexperienced citizen with misleading language that leads one to believe that (1) the firm will sue you for a huge amount of money (2) if you just pay, nothing further will happen. If there was a police report/call - the decision to "press charges" is out of the store's hands. The District Attorney's Office brings charges - NOT the store. Once the police send the report to the DA's Office, it is up to them to decide to file criminal charges. (Stores can reach a negotiated civil compromises with defendants in certain cases but that has to be presented to the DA's office and the judge - and the judge has to agree to dismiss the case - but that is another story.) The store has nothing to do with a DA's decision to "press charges." I can't tell you how many times I have been presented with these bologna letters in court by bewildered defendants who paid a lot of money to these bogus firms thinking the case would go away.

    Bottom Line: Most of those letters are scams so it is well worth your while to present the letter to an attorney before shelling out a penny to them.

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