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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  9 years legal experience, primarily in criminal justice
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I was the Treasurer for three years for an elementary schools

Customer Question

I was the Treasurer for three years for an elementary school's PTO Board. Over the past 90 days, I inadvertently used the PTO's debit card to make personal purchases as the card looked identical to my PERSONAL debit card (same bank). I am completely capable and ready to pay all money back at this time; however, my attorneys advise against this. IF I pay the money back tomorrow in full, can they still press charges?
Also, my attorneys wish to meet next week to discuss what I will plea when I don't even know yet WHAT I'll be charged with, if anything. Please advise.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 5 years ago.
Hello.

Even if you pay back the money, you can still be charged with some form of theft (such as embezzlement). However, you have a defense in that you didn't have an intent to steal. Your attorney is probably suggesting that you not pay it back at this time because he can use it as leverage later--ie work out a deal with the prosecutor to drop the charges in exchange for full payment of restitution. If you pay it back, you essentially admit guilt and remove any leverage that you have.
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4093
Experience: 9 years legal experience, primarily in criminal justice
Hammer O'Justice and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your assistance - this helps. In this case, then, does it make sense that I'm paying an attorney over $600/hour plus an assistant attorney $325/hour PLUS a retainer to the firm of $10,000, or couldn't I just represent myself, along with a good public defender? How long do I anticipate that it will take until I know if I'll have any charges brought against me? How long can the cops keep all of my stuff that they took under their SEARCH WARRANT, much of which is completely irrelevant to the incident being investigated.
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 5 years ago.
I don't know why you would need two attorneys on a case like this. I wouldn't recommend representing yourself, however. And you would only qualify for the public defender if you can't afford an attorney.

There's no way to estimate how long it would take before they decide to file charges. Cases tend to get worse with age, so cases are generally charged as soon as the police complete their investigation. But there's no way to estimate how long it will take them to finish looking into the case.

Your attorney will have to file a request to get back the property. There may have to be a hearing on it if the police/prosecution claims that the items seized are relevant evidence to the case or were purchased with the proceeds of a crime.
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 5 years ago.
Also, I noticed that you gave me negative feedback for not answering your follow up question while I was in the middle of typing a response. You need to understand that I am a person, not a robot, and I need some time to give you the best answer I can. It is unfair to me to expect me to give you a good answer within seconds.

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