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Andrew Schwarz

Andrew Schwarz’s Answers

13 total


  • What to do in a shoplifting midemeanor case?

    I was caught for shoplifting $11 worth of merchandise at QFC crossroads bellevue. My intention was not stealing and I have never ever stolen anything from anyone or done any bad deed. But, I guess I did forget to pay for a few items which I took a...

    Andrew’s Answer

    While the amount may seem insignificant, a shoplifting conviction is a serious thing. It can lead to you being marked a lier if called to testify in the future. (state v. Brown). Also, QFC may have no right to ask you for money, especially if they recovered the merchandise. (Harold Meyer Drug v. Hurd, 23 Wash.App. 683 (1979))

    Do not talk to the prosecutor. Hire a good lawyer or ask that a public defender be appointed to represent you. They will seek to keep this off your record and resolve it. If the merchandise was recovered, the should send a letter to QFC informing them that they have no right to recover what they never lost.

    Be advised that you may be "trespassed" or excluded from that store in the future. If you go there in violation of a written warning not to, you will probably be arrested and charged with Trespass, another misdemeanor.

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  • When is the best time to submit a motion to dismiss?

    i am going to pretrial on the 19th of may, and i would like to move the courts to dismiss my case. any help would be appreciated. thanks

    Andrew’s Answer

    I'm sorry, but this is a bit like asking, "when is the best time to do surgery?" Depends on the illness, the patient, the doctor.

    To answer your question you need to provide much more information regarding the charge, the evidence, the court, and explain what you are trying to achieve.

    Judges don't just dismiss cases because you say you didn't do it. Motions practice can be complex and involved and if not done right, can commit you to facts and proceedures that will make it harder to win the case.

    If you have a lawyer, ask him or her your questions. If you don't trust their answers, get another lawyer. If you don't have a lawyer, think about getting one. Even simple charges can have terrible consequences concerning education, loans, housing, and immigration. You probably don't do your own surgery, should you be your own lawyer?

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  • Walla I had a warrant for my arrest made in 2002 for writing a bad check, is there statue of limitations or do I need a attorney

    I want to know is there a statue of limitations on this warrant or do I need to fid an attorney in washington state. I currently live in kennesaw georgia

    Andrew’s Answer

    Unfortunately, there is no statute of limitations that applies if the case has been charged and a warrant issued. And a warrant is usually renewed every few years, even if it expires, so it probably won't go away by itself. On the other hand, it may be the type of warrant that would not pay for extradition from Georgia to Washington, which means that even if you were arrested in Georgia, they would release you because Washington won't pay for your transport back here. A lawyer in the county where the warrant was issued can find that out for you. They will be able to determine what witnesses are involved and whether something has changed since the case was filed that makes it more difficult for the state to prosecute you.

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  • I was caught shoplifting at the px itwas my first and last time i have to pay a fine of 200.00 what will happen in court

    i dont have any thing like this on my record what i did was stupid and wrong and i wish it never happen what advice can u give me i am ashamed of what i did can u help i still have to go to court but i dont know when

    Andrew’s Answer

    Look at it this way: Everybody screws up sometimes. Stop beating yourself up and get focused on minimizing the damage. If you left your car windows open, and it rained, you wouldn't rip the car apart, you would try to dry it out and not do it again.

    In the same way, what you do now matters. Get a good lawyer. You will have options in court and a good lawyer will explain them and fight to minimize the damage. Even if you ultimately admit guilt, the way you do that will determine if this stays on your record. Only a lawyer familiar with the court you are in can protect you from long term harm from this one stupid act.

    Good luck.

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  • I have been asked to refrain from entering a place of business due to a conviction of a sex offense Is that legal?

    I Have frequented this place for over four years without incidence. and it has just recently become to light because of a posting in the paper. It was something over 25 years ago and not even in this state. I have never had any conviction of any k...

    Andrew’s Answer

    Unfortunately, its not possible to answer his question without more info. I would lik to know where you are located, what your conviction was for, and what sort of business it is.

    If its simply a business saying "we don't like your type..." it may not be legal. If there is some reason why that particular business doesn't want you there (say a video arcade, excluding someone convicted of child molestation) it might be valid.

    And every state has different rules on this. As a general matter, however, in most states some specific order has to be issued by a court to lawfully prohibit you from the premises. You would then get notice of their effort and have an oppportunity to defend yourself from their concerns. In some states, and under some circumstances, the order of a police officer not to enter the premises would be enough to result in criminal trespass charges if you return after being told not to be there.

    Without knowing more specific information, thats the best answer that can be provided.

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  • In Washington state, do people convicted of a felony charge of forcible sodomy have to register as sex offenders?

    My estranged husband was convicted today in a military court. I'm just curious about what exactly this means.

    Andrew’s Answer

    THere is no crime of forceable sodomy in Washington. Depending on the age of the victim, however, this could be rape or child rape. Both are sex offenses. Both require registration.

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  • Accused of Dine & Dash in Washington state???

    I frequent a local mexican diner. waitress comes over & asked If I remember her, I say "yes,Hi how are you?" then she says that I was in there before & did not pay & she saw me run across street. I have money & credit cards , I know I do hurry ...

    Andrew’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As the other lawyer stated, they can report anything they want. THe police will probably do nothing to investigate the truth of the allegtions, but they may well file a theft 3, (gross misdemeanor) charge. These are typically filed with little or no review. Its almost as if the "system" thinks its the obligation of the accused to demonstrate innocence- a difficult thing to do.

    Establishing an alibi (I wasn't there) is difficult. It can be very hard to prove where you were at a certain time, even with credit card receipts and public surveillance cams. But it can sometimes be done.

    If you were there, but paid, do you have a credit card reciept? Are you sure when they say you skipped? It may have to wait until you are charged, so the date and time are nailed down and you can then work on showing that you did not commit this crime.

    It is a crime, and punishable by jail (up to a year) and fine (up to $5,000). Depending on whether you have a criminal record, first offenses are seldom punished with jail, but this should be taken seriously.

    Contacting the proprietor directly and trying to explain that the waitress is mistaken, may be dangerous. If they think, for whatever reason, that you are tampering with a witness or trying to prevent the legitimate report of a crime, thats a muc more serious offense.

    A good criminal defense attny can intercede wiht the prosecutor and may be able to make sure charges are not filed. A consultation would be worth arranging. There may be more to this than you are aware of and it may be worth putting some money into now, to prevent more serious consequences down the line.

    Good luck

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  • What is the process of getting a public defender in state of IL

    my husband was arrested last saturday evening, when he went to video court sunday he thought he was going to retain an attorney,so he declined the court appointed one. Now its friday and is not able to get one on his own,is there any way now he ca...

    Andrew’s Answer

    Yes, he can get a public defender now.

    Call the public defender's office if it is listed in the phone book. If not, call the clerk of the court where your husband has been charged and they will know how to contact someone to get him a lawyer.

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  • Self-defense facing prison time

    My brother is facing 5 years in prison for defending him self against a guy who came onto his property and tried to beat him up. This guy was my brothers girlfriends ex-father-in law and he did not approve of them dating. Prior to all this he had ...

    Andrew’s Answer

    This is an awful situation and the answers you seek can't be found on a bulletin board like this. You are going to have to talk to a good lawyer directly. THey will have to review the court file, figure out why this happened and see what can be done to make it right before time runs out. Time is running and you need to act quickly or your brother's options will be very limited.

    There may be public funding available for an appeal or post conviction motions to set aside the verdict. Talk to a lawyer and ask. If you live in a rural area, call a criminal defense lawyer in the nearest city and ask some questions.

    If you don't know how to find a criminal defense lawyer, use this site and search for criminal defense in the city closest to you.

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  • Does a public defender have to be present at an arraignment. And does a warrant have to have a signature on it. And one more

    can someone be charged with possesion of a gun if they are 3,000 miles away and do not own the property the gun was stored in?

    Andrew’s Answer

    OK, first of all, the rules on a public defender being present at arraignment vary from state to state. Where I practice, there must be a defender present at all Felony arraignments or the defendant must voluntarily waive his or her right to counsel. In some small cities and towns the misdemeanor arraignments will be held without counsel, but many lawyers think this is a violation of the 6th amendment right to counsel.

    Most states require a warrant to be signed by a judge. You may be able to challenge one that is not.

    As to the gun, there is something called "constructive possession" which means having "dominion and control over the item." THis can be done from 3,000 miles away, IF the government can show that you were able to exercise control over the thing. For instance, if it is in your desk drawer at an apartment you rent and you are 3,000 miles away, its still within your control. If its in someoen else's home, or someone else's hands, or someone else's bag, its a lot harder for them to claim you are in constructive possession.

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