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What do I do? Theft misdemeanor?

Fresno, CA |

In December 2010 I was caught shoplifting at a Kohl's. When I showed up for my court date in March 2011 I was told that my name was not in the system that they couldn't find any reason I should be there. .they gave me the number for the DA's office and they also said the same thing. So a few months later I go to the same court house to pay a traffic ticket and they say that I have a warrant for the theft? So at this point I don't know what to do?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You should look into hiring an attorney to go in and recall the warrant for you. After the warrant has been recalled you then have to fight your case. You may be able to file a due process motion, but the fact that its only been a year may help. Did you move from your residence that you were living at when you got cited?

Elliot Zarabi
www.FreeCriminalConsultation.com
213-612-7720

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8 comments

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Asker

Posted

Yes I moved like 1 week after I was cited.. I really can't afford an attorney

Elliot Rahmim Zarabi

Elliot Rahmim Zarabi

Posted

I understand then the public defender may be able to help you. Feel free to call me to discuss the case.

Posted

At this point, what you do is hire a lawyer to defend you on the theft charge. If you can't afford one, they will appoint the public defender. There is no due process issue here. Good luck to you.

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2 comments

Rodney Richard Rusca

Rodney Richard Rusca

Posted

I'm used to referring to a Serna Motion as a speedy trial motion under due process to which I think there may be an argument. I may be mistaken on the wording, but I think there is a issue here.

David Jon Pullman

David Jon Pullman

Posted

You may be right that there may be a potential Serna issue (which is a 6th Amendment Speedy Trial issue, not Due Process, although applied to the states via the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment). I wasn't thinking about the fact that it was already May 2012, but only considering the dates mentioned in the question. The fact that nothing was filed by the time of the court date in March was not troubling, nor was the fact that they did eventually file a few months later, still well within the year (governed by the statute of limitations and due process). The Speedy Trial clock starts ticking upon the filing of the complaint. So, assuming that a year has now gone by since the filing of the complaint (and assuming that the court doesn't know that the defendant was informed that he had a warrant and did nothing about it, which would most likely blow his Serna motion), then the question would be whether there was any justification for the delay, which will be fact dependent.

Posted

The most important thing is to get that arrest warrant recalled. The judge cannot do that until the matter gets put on calender. In order to get the matter put on calendar, you need to go down to The Fresno Superior Courthouse Calendaring Department on the fourth floor of the main courthouse. There they will give you the date where the judge can get rid of the warrant. Alternatively, you could get a private attorney to help you with this step. Once you get your paperwork showing that you have a future court date, carry it around with you until your date because officers can arrest you. By showing that you are taking the steps necessary to rid yourself of that warrant, it will help you persuade the officer not to take you into jail. With a misdemeanor theft case it is unlikely that they arrest you, because the jail is so full, but they do have that power.

Our other comment, from Elliot, is correct. To expand, there is a presumption that the court took too long to prosecute you if more than a year passes between the affidavit in support of an arrest warrant and the arraignment in court on misdemeanor matters. However, there are exceptions to this rule and it may not apply in your case.

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