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Joseph Briscoe Dane
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Joseph Dane’s Answers

11,428 total


  • Do I go to court Does it go on my record

    I got caught stealing from jcpenny in ca..lost prevention approached me. They didn't call the police they took everything back and let me go with in 5min. All they told me was I would get a letter in the mail and paying a fine... will it go in my ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    It's not a civil "fine" - it's a civil demand letter. California law allows a merchant to demand up to $500 following a theft incident. These letters are typically sent by the store or a law firm acting on their behalf. They are all bark and no bite.

    If you ignore the letter, they have to make a choice - let it go or file a small claims case against you. I have never heard of anyone actually being sued if they ignore the letter. Why don't they do anything? Because lawyers cannot get involved in small claims cases and it isn't worth the store's time to pursue a small claims case over such a minor amount.

    There is one law firm in Florida that does nothing but these kind of civil demand letters on behalf of stores. They were quoted in a Wall Street Journal article as sending out over one and a half million letters a year, but they filed less than 10 lawsuits. Not ten percent. Not ten thousand. Ten. The odds are overwhelming that they won't do anything.

    If you choose to pay their demand, it just means they won't sue you, but it will have no impact on any criminal prosecution. Paying it won't stop criminal charges from being filed and not paying it won't make a criminal case worse or cause charges to be filed if they weren't going to be in the first place.

    Because the police were not involved initially, the odds are overwhelming they won't be.

    Bullet dodged. Lesson learned.

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  • Do state courts have to abide by treaties and conventions signed and ramified by the US?

    I was recently charged by a crime in violation with the 4th and 14th amendment and also in violation with the International Bill of Human Rights. I know that the constitutional law is "supposed" to be the supreme law even though the law has loopho...

    Joseph’s Answer

    If you think the law you were charged with is unconstitutional, you fight it in court. No, state laws are not subject to complying with international conventions or treaties. We have sufficient laws under the state codes, state constitution and federal constitution.

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  • Can I ask a lower fine because of ADHD?

    I left my car on a street where parking is not allowed between 7am-9am. I read the sign but I recalled incorrectly that the restriction started at 8am. I went to move my car at 7:30am, and they were towing it. I was diagnosed with a severe form of...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Trying to raise this as a defense may cost you more than the ticket. I say that because if you raise any sort of medical issue regarding driving and the DMV catches wind of it, they could suspend your license until they're satisfied you're medically cleared to drive.

    For this one, you may be better of just paying and doing something else to help you remember details (take a photo of the phone, set a specific alarm, etc).

    Good luck.

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  • What can be done now and what should I do she suffered so much more pain until i could get her and continue our trip to the hosp

    On January 15th my wife had to call an ambulance for stomach pain enroute to the hospital the paramedic gave my wife an IV and morphine for the pain my wife was still in a considerable amount of pain and was moaning. the paramedic then said to my ...

    Joseph’s Answer

    If what you posted is true, you need to be speaking to a personal injury attorney immediately. Use the "find a lawyer" tab above to search for a good one in your area.

    I put that rather generic answer in, as you have to enter an answer to edit the practice area. You posted without specifying a field of law. I'll reclassify it under personal injury so attorneys that practice in that field can see it and hopefully respond.

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  • What can a person do against being recorded in public? What can a person do about a video of them put online?

    All too often these days, people will take out a phone or some other device and start recording anything they can in hopes of posting it online for some meager popularity. I have had difficulty finding any defense against this. I understand the "p...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Unfortunately, as you've already researched and heard in Mr. Marshall's answer, if a person is in a public place, there is no right to privacy and therefore no claim of invasion of privacy for filming a person in pubic.

    I see these so-called "prank" videos and wonder why more of them aren't getting punched in the face for their antics. More amazingly, some of the "prankees" apparently give their consent for the video to be posted. But to exploit a person simply for something such as a physical issue or something like a speech impediment - I find no humor in that. Sadly, there's an audience for that, thus the "meager popularity" search as you put it.

    So what can be done by the victim? In addition to the assault/battery issues brought up by Mr. Marshall, if there is a group of individuals cheering and caterwauling, they're disturbing the victim's peace by loud and unreasonable noise. That's a crime under Penal Code section 415. It's at least enough justification to call the police.

    The concept of "harassment" is a civil term and not really a criminal one. There's no crime of harassment. If the victim desires to leave but is surrounded or prevented from leaving for some reason, that's criminal by false imprisonment. Any physical contact is a battery.

    Sadly, there's nothing to prevent any video being shot in public from being posted online. While some websites may remove videos upon request of an individual, many will not, using the First Amendment as their justification to post whatever.

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  • Can a Vehicle Code 2002 (a) misdemeanor be reduced to an infraction (post conviction) and dismissed under 1203.4 in california?

    Convicted of a Vehicle Code 20002(a) misdemeanor in california. Can this be reduced to an infraction post conviction, and dismissed under 1203.4? three year probation successfully served.

    Joseph’s Answer

    That particular charge cannot be reduced to an infraction, but if you successfully completed probation, you're eligible for dismissal under 1203.4.

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  • Why did my husband get denied bail reduction because of his past charges. We found a penal code that shows it was illegal.

    Re posting this question: my husband is facing 20 years for someone hitting HIM in his car from behind. He has a past that includes robbery and assault but he has been doing well for himself since that time. The lady that hit him did not pull over...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Reposting the question without giving us many more specifics will not help. Only his trial attorney can answer these questions for you.

    He apparently has circle priors that are greatly impacting his sentence and he has now been convicted after trial (according to your other question and comments). He either needs a good lawyer for a motion for new trial and/or an appellate attorney to appeal any errors of law that may have occurred during the trial.

    This was generated by dictation for efficiency. Please pardon any misinterpretations.

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  • Can I file a motion to request fees imposed by petty theft infraction be converted to community service hours?

    I was convicted of petty theft infraction with a $1500 fine. I do not have the money to pay this. Am I able to file a motion requesting to convert the fine into community service, and provide copies of my financial status? (I am on disabil...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Nobody "made" anyone do anything. The prosecutor agreed to reduce it and you agreed to the terms.

    Fines can potentially be converted, but certain court costs cannot. You'll have to see the clerk's office and/or the judge to make your request.

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  • How to value a 496(a) correctly? Determining the value of property in ca criminal court,please comment!

    A report of a residential burglary was filed,the items taken were valued at,$800,$1,000 & $300,a charge of 496(a) was filed against me even though i was not involved in the residential burglary,at the time of arrest i was questioned only about the...

    Joseph’s Answer

    Details matter.

    Were you charged for the other items, even if you didn't admit to them? Did you plead to charges that involve the other items? Was there a Harvey waiver where even if those counts were dismissed, tjey could be considered against you?

    Did you admit in a factual basis for the plea that the value was over $950?

    You can appeal or pursue a true reduction to misdemeanor under Penal Code 17(b) which frankly has some better results.

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