If the case is filed, you have a strong defense. Theft requires proof of intent to deprive the victim of property. As such, if you took it from the trash thinking the owner abandoned it, it would be virtually impossible to find you had the necessary intent.
As for the restitution question, California Penal Code sections 1377 and 1378 allow the court to dismiss a misdemeanor criminal case (regardless of whether the DA agrees) based on the victim's representation that he or she has been...
As of January 25, 2010, the vast majority of people sentenced to jail will only be required to serve 50% of their time. This is a big change from existing law, where the majority of people are required to serve 2/3's of a jail sentence.
The new rule will not apply to people with a prior conviction for a serious or violent felony, and to those who are required to register as sex offenders. Assuming you fall into neither category, you should only be required to serve 90 days of your sentence...
The law on jail credits changes on January 25, 2010. At that time, most inmates will only be required to serve 50% of their time. I explain this in detail on my Web site's blog. See link below.
I've been practicing criminal law in Orange County for about 15 years. Overall, the Public Defender's office does very good work in our county. As I recently wrote about on my blog (www.gurwitzlaw.com), the PD's office is a much better option generally than low-priced private defense attorneys. Because there is a PD's office to provide free legal work for people who can't afford it, it is highly unlikely that you will find an attorney to do criminal work pro bono, unless it is a friend or...
Yes it is possible to easily get an attorney to work on the case for free if he can't afford to hire one. This is the job of a public defender, who is paid by the state. (Sometimes, the court charges the defendant a very minimal amount at the end of the case if it finds the client has the ability to pay, but that does not always happen.) Attorneys are often reluctant to work for free on a criminal case since anyone accused of a misdemeanor or a felony gets one appointed at the government's...
I recommend that you immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney. Your situation is complicated and the correct answer depends on many facts that aren't included in your question. You need to be certain that you don't jeopardize your rights in either a criminal case or with respect to the alleged collision.
1) The way to seal arrest records is through a petition for factual innocence. When no charges were filed, there is a three-year time period within which you had to file it. Arrests can show up on your record regardless of whether charges were filed.
2) You say the court "dismissed" it. It is unclear to me whether you were ever charged with anything. If you were cited, but the court dismissed the case for some reason, then you were charged. If you were never charged, there would be no...
It is highly unlikely that you'd be charged with a DUI, given the lack of a citation or arrest for that offense.
You could receive a jail sentence if you're charged with a probation violation, but realize that the DMV does not have the authority to do this. This would be a court proceeding.
Depending on a variety of factors, a one-year suspension is a possibility.
My advice is to contact a local attorney and be sure to request a DMV hearing within the 10-day period.
Good luck to you,
I don't believe this new law will be interpreted in a manner that will allow you to get a restricted license since it does not go into effect until July 1, 2010. For an explanation of why this is so, I invite you to read a blog article I wrote on this issue at gurwitzlaw.com