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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23573
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am a female, 25, and have been charged with a class A misdameanor.

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I am a female, 25, and have been charged with a class A misdameanor. I have 2 or 3 priors that i have gotten dismissed. This charge is a nightmare. Im not a bad person nor a criminal, but it certainly looks that way. I just want to know the worst that I can be charged with and sentenced. I want to know what can happen to me worse case scenario.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
Customer

The penalty for an A misdemeanor in Utah carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

You have done the smart thing by engaging a criminal lawyer at the very beginning of your case. You haven't said anything here about the charge, but if you have no previous contact with the criminal justice system except for some dismissals and are presently at liberty, you will very likely be able to resolve your case in some way without having to do any jail time, unless you go all the way to trial and are convicted of the offense.

On your arraignment date, what will happen is that the judge will read the charges formally into the record and ask you how you plead. You should plead "not guilty," which I'm sure your lawyer will tell you as well. From there, the prosecutor may talk about some kind of possible offer. By then you will probably have spoken to your lawyer, who will have spoken to the prosecutor and given you his opinion of what the evidence against you is likely to show. You can accept the offer if you like it, authorize your lawyer to try to get you a better offer, if you don't, or move the case in the direction of trial. Which of these options you will follow will depend on what your lawyer has to tell you. The key thing is that you will have someone who can advise you working on your behalf so that you can make intelligent decisions.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Isn't it true that if you have ever been charged with similar charges ( assault), which all of mine are, They can bring them back up and use them against you and up your charge to a felony? I pled guilty to all of the previous charges and did a plea of abeyance. That is how they got dismissed. Isn't that different? Im terrified of going to jail.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
I didn't realize that this was an assault case or that your earlier dismissals were pleas in abeyance. Yes, that could make a difference.

Is this a domestic matter? Any injuries here? Are you out on bail? Did all of the previous dismissals have the same complainant?


Edited by FranL on 10/1/2009 at 1:02 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes, all of the above. He claims I broke his jaw and there are witnessess that I hurt him. This of course is not true, but I don't see how I can get out of this charge.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
I was afraid you were going to say something like that.

Yes, you could possibly be facing jail. The stakes do go up after each new charge. That said, if the medical claims were substantiated, you would have been charged with a felony instead of with a misdemeanor. So something is wrong with the case, and the witnesses don't appear to have improved matters much.

Cases tend to go one way when a person is fighting the case from outside of the system, and another way when the defendant is fighting it from jail. So I wouldn't be convinced that jail is inevitable.

I'm sure you know to stay away from the complainant. You may not get the offer of a lifetime right away, but if your lawyer and you can drag the case out long enough for the complainant to cool down somewhat and if there are no incidents while the case is pending, you may make out better than your worst case scenario.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

so many things are wrong with this case. I wanted this kid out of MY house for breaking my stuff. He didn't even live here. I screamed and cursed him out to leave my house and I get the cops called on me. This kid is a year older than me has two kids and was homeless and unemployed. one of my roommates lovers. He got kicked out of his mom's house. A winner, I know. I, on the other hand, work 45 hours a week. Im in the insurance industry. I am about to begin classes to become a broker and this kid is a recovering junkie. It doesn't seem right. Can anyone fabricate a story of assault, claim they were hurt and get their friends to vouch for them- then get away with it? I had to find out there was a warrant through random lawyer letters to my mailbox. Then go and turn myself in and post bail.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.
Yes, anyone can fabricate a story, claim they were hurt, and try to convince other people to vouch for it. That's the bad news. The good is that there are two sides to every story, and although you should save further details for your lawyer where you can discuss the matter in confidence rather than on a public forum, you've given me enough to have a sense of what's going on here.

As this is not the first time the prosecution has dealt with a matter having to do with you and this complainant, my gut sense is that they already have some feeling about his lack of credibility. Given what else you've just told me, if you have to go to trial on this case, and it comes down to your word against his, and to your character against his, you will have a substantial edge.

So take some pressure off of yourself. I can't tell you not to worry. But you've got some facts that your lawyer should be able to work well with, and I don't think it looks like the state has a very vested interest in putting you away. Again, I want to point out that the prosecution has not charged you with a felony. To me, when there's a complainant who says you broke his jaw, the misdemeanor arrest means that the state knows it doesn't have a very good case.

_____

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.


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