How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 100052
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

WHEN I RETURNED FROM VACATION, THERE WAS A NOTE IN MY MAIL

Customer Question

WHEN I RETURNED FROM VACATION, THERE WAS A NOTE IN MY MAIL BOX THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAD SENT ME A CERTIFIED LETTER THAT WOULD BE RETURNED IF I DID NOT PICK IT UP BY A DATE THAT HAD ALREADY PASSED. WHAT WAS MOST LIKELY IN A CERTIFIED LETTER IF IT WAS TRULY FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE? ALSO, DO DEBT COLLECTORS SOMETIMES USE TACTICS LIKE THIS?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.

I have never heard the US Department of Justice sending anyone such a letter. While there is no way to know for sure, it is likely a debt collector, who are known to impersonate legal authority to get your attention. They are not allowed to do this, and if the letter is a collector's letter, then this would be a $1,000 fine per violation under the FDCPA's 15 U.S.C. § 1692e.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Debt_Collection_Practices_Act#Prohibited_conduct

In the off chance that it is an official letter, you would want to see it. And if it is not, then you would want to take it to an attorney who can likely turn it into an award for you. Ergo, it is in your best interest to pick it up.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.

If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!

While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are morally wronged but have limited legal avenues to seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault (in other words, I prefer to tell you the truth rather than tell you what you want to hear, so if the news is not good, please do not shoot the messenger).

You can always request me for a future advice through my profile at…

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-attorneyeli/

…if you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. I believe it was already returned. It seemed odd, if I was in any sort of trouble, it would seem that they a law enforcement person would bring any documents, but I was not certain. Thank you.
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello,

Indeed. Usually, you would get a telephone call, or a visit. There is really no way to know, but if it was truly the US Dept. of Justice, they would try again.

Good luck, and please don't forget to press accept - it's the only way I get credit for my time with you.
Ely and other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Eli;

 

Are you online? Do you have time for a follow up question?

Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Hello friend,

I am. How can I help?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

It turns out it is a criminal summons. I was to appear on June 14 in Seattle (I live in Florida). I contacted the public defender in Seattle and she spoke with the prosecutor and they have moved the date to the week of June 27.

 

I had a couple of questions: 1) Do I have to appear in person, or can I hire an attorney to represent me because I will have to miss work?, and 2) why would a summons be sent vs. picking me up? Is it possible they want to make a plea agreement?

Thank you.

 

 

Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your follow up. Can you please tell me what the charge is?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Misdemeanor or felony? Or not sure? Do you know under which part of Florida code this is?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I assume felony, Title 18 US Code Section 1343
Expert:  Ely replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. This is a federal charge. It is indeed unusual that they just sent a notice, but if it checks out, then you do have this charge.

Do I have to appear in person, or can I hire an attorney to represent me because I will have to miss work?

You have to appear in person to enter the plea, I am afraid.

Why would a summons be sent vs. picking me up? Is it possible they want to make a plea agreement?

I cannot answer, but perhaps it is because they simply do not consider you a flight risk. It is indeed possible to negotiate a plea agreement, but it is best to let your attorney handle this and the prosecutor would not even discuss a plea agreement without proper representation.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you until you actually press ACCEPT. If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the REPLY button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after accepting, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you desire clarification.

If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!

While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are morally wronged but have limited legal avenues to seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault (in other words, I prefer to tell you the truth rather than tell you what you want to hear, so if the news is not good, please do not shoot the messenger).

You can always request me for a future advice through my profile at…

http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-attorneyeli/

…if you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”