My situation is a bit more complex than I revealed initially... I was arrested and detained for one week for indecent exposure about 3 years ago (false charge)...they were able to reduce it down to lewd conduct and then eventually, trespassing (not sure how they were able to do this but they did).. My question with this is this: since its been over 2 years, has my record completely disappeared ...meaning, could they still look it up and use it against me?Of course. Criminal convictions do not just disappear due to the passage of time, unfortunately.
Also I think I forgot to say that im in the state of California...just for the record. I understand.
Would I have to hire an attourney for this since it's only a city attourney hearing I would, if I wanted a stronger opportunity to prevent criminal charges.
and what typically goes on in these hearings..how do it all work? It is typically somewhat informal, as opposed to criminal court. Offices can very however. The Hearing Officer will likely listen to both sides, review the case, etc.
If a Hearing Officer determines after the hearing that the misdemeanor conduct or the alleged conduct will not occur again then the Officer can recommend that the City Attorney’s office not proceed with the criminal case. The Hearing Officer will keep the file open for one year before the file is completely closed out. If on the other hand, the Hearing Officer determines that the alleged misdemeanor conduct will reoccur or that the case is more serious than previously thought, then the Officer will recommend that the City Attorney’s Office proceed with the criminal prosecution. This is why it is a great opportunity for you to avoid criminal prosecution.
Is their anyway to see the exact nature of the complaint before my hearing date? Yes, you should be able to request it from the City Attorney's office.
If in fact, I am, "guilty" on some level for lewd or questionable behavior, I need to start putting together a plan of action and get my story straight so I don't sound like a complete idiot. Anything you say can be used against you later in Court, should you err, lose and they decide to prosecute. I'd get an attorney, hands down.
If I do need an attourney, how would I get one and would I have to pay for their services? Yes, you'd have to hire one. Since you are not being prosecuted, I am understanding that you do not have the right (yet) to assigned counsel if you are indigent.
Would the person or persons accussing me of this charge be present at the hearing or is it all just based on a written or verbal complaint? Typically the complainant must be there also.
isn't a criminal complaint different than a criminal charge? A person can file a criminal complaint, but the DA or prosecutor may not choose to charge the accused, either because the complaint fails to state a crime or because the evidence is weak. Or, because they don't find it important enough of an issue to pursue.
So if they do go ahead with filing the criminal complaint, what could that mean for me? You mean if they charge you criminally? Then you are in the system, with permananent charges, and you can plead or try the case in court, be convicted or not convicted, however well it turns out.
Thanks for your help and patience. You are welcome.