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JD
JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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Please help. I am 22, currently reside in NY and attend college

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Please help. I am 22, currently reside in NY and attend college with no prior convictions. I went to another college for a party and made a huge mistake. After being intoxicated, we were outside and a full beer can was thrown out a second story window at me and 3 friends. Me and one friend decided to enter their residence to confront them. When we did we saw beer agaisnt a wall and decided to take their beer instead. We each took two 30 racks of cheap beer totalling about $70. We ended up getting caught and were arrested and had files charged on us of trespassing and petit larceny. From what I understand it is likely I will be let off with ACD. I have two questions. Should I hire my own lawyer to assure I get off with ACD or just use a PD? Second, we have not had our court date yet, fingerprints taken or anything. Is it legal to pay off the kids that had the files charged on us so the prosecution will possibly have the charges dropped and have us be released?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

1) You should hire your own attorney. Public defenders are good lawyers but are overworked and you may not receive the individual attention you need for this deal.

 

2) Let's not use the term "pay off"... this implies a bribery issue that could greatly increase your criminal exposure. Certainly it is good to pay restitution to the "victims" before your court date but you should do so through your attorney to prevent this good faith action from becoming either an illegal payoff or an admission of guilt.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
<p>The "victims" have already recieved their beer back (We were caught by public safety with beer on us that was then returned to the "victims"). What I meant by "pay off" was asking if it would be considered bribary or if it is legal to pay someone a sum of money to have the charges dropped. Much how the wealthy and celebrities seem to always get off easy by paying an "undisclosed amount" to the party involved in all sorts of cases. Would it be legal for me and my friend to say give $500 each to the "victims" and in turn have them drop the charges on us, or is that considered bribary. The more I write the more I get the feeling it would be considered bribary. But since the case deals directly with us and the victims I was wondering if their was a chance it would be ok for us to settle this out of court. Or since the legal system is already involved it's now out of the hands of the "victims" and soley up to the prosecution? Sorry for the repediveness.</p>
Expert:  JD replied 4 years ago.

Yes it would be considered a crime. Some jurisdictions refer to it as bribery and some use the phrase compounding a felony. Either way it is a bad idea. I completely understand you desire to keep this out of the system, but you are treading on thin ice here. If you wish to offer some form of settlement, make sure you do so through a lawyer to prevent exposing yourself to further criminal liability. You are correct that the decision making is in the state's hands now.... therefore any settlement offer your attorney tenders should be with the state's approval.

 

Please reply if I can help further.

 

________________________

JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience: Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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