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What to expect at status conference?

Philadelphia, PA |

I have an upcoming status conference pertaining to a retail theft charge from 2007. I plead "no contest" and received a fine which was never paid. I moved out of the area, and did not receive notice of initial status conference and a bench warrant was issued. I had BW lifted, and the status conference was rescheduled for 2/2/2010. I'd like some idea what to expect, and wondering if I should get an attorney.

Attorney Answers 3


You should definitely have an attorney represent you in this matter. As you describe your case, you have two problems both of which will be addressed at the conference. First, the original case. You have a fine and haven't paid it. The judge will wantb to know why you haven't done so, The second is your failure to appear at the "initial status conference." Again the Court will want to know why you didn't appear. It's not clear what you meant by the initial status conference. Once the Court ordered you to pay a fine your case was over unless as happened her, the fine isn't paid. It was be that the conference was to address whether you should be held in comtempt and possibily jailed for failure too pay the fine.

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First get an attorney. Second make some payment on the fine or pay it all if you can to avoid a potential parole violation if you are on parole or probation. Third I'm not sure why you have a status conference as they are usually reserved for cases pending trial. You apparently have already been found guilty. But again you really should have an attorney help you through this.

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It's possible, as my colleagues suggest, that you have violated a term of your probation by failing to pay the fine. Alternatively, because you use the term "status conference," it sounds as if your previous lawyer may have negotiated some type of diversion program or deferred sentencing arrangement for you by which the prosecution agreed to withdraw the charges in exchange for your fulfilling certain conditions. If this case, you have failed to perform those conditions.

In either event, you will definitely need a lawyer to sort this out for you and to advocate on your behalf.

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