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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Criminal Law.
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I received the following letter in the mail from the, office

Customer Question

I received the following letter in the mail from the, “office of the city attorney”


“A complaint has been filed with this office stating you have violated section P647a, lewd conduct, on July 5, 2011. The matter has been scheduled for a city attorney office hearing on September 22, 2011 at 1:45 p.m.

Warning: failure to appear at the city attorney hearing may result in the filing of a criminal complaint against you. “


I have no clue if this is someone seeking to defame my good name/character or if there is some legitimacy to the complaint. The only thing I can think of is that I wear women’s clothes from time to time but I never do anything weird, although I have had people try to vilify me for various reasons relating to my lifestyle. I’m not sure what all lewd conduct entails but I don’t like the way it sounds and I have a good reputation and I cant afford to have any dings on my record.

,my question(s) are as follows:

My mind is pretty much made up, I don’t think that I’m going to show up. What is the worst case scenario as far as what they will do to me? What exactly is a criminal complaint? Would it show up on my record or impact me on any level? I don’t do well around people and even if its just a matter of a, “my word vs. his” scenario I am often not able to be articulate or keep my composure in public plus I cant get the time off work. I was thinking of leaving the state within the next six months anyway but now in light of this complaint I might take off sooner.. Would this be something that could follow me and/or affect my ability to get a job in another state?

Thank you so much for your help, I eagerly anticipate your response.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 2 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.*

My mind is pretty much made up, I don’t think that I’m going to show up. Why is that?

What is the worst case scenario as far as what they will do to me? Typically, they will decide if there is enough evidence that you violated the code to prosecute, and if so, that is what the will typically do.

What exactly is a criminal complaint? It means you may be charged and prosecuted for a crime (like theft, murder, etc.).

Would it show up on my record or impact me on any level? Yes, if you get charged, you will have a permanent criminal record, even if you beat it at trial. This will certainly impact and future job applications, as many employers now run criminal background checks and knix anyone with a criminal background from the hiring pool. Of course, if you are convicted, the criminal background will be more severe that a mere charge that is dismissed.

I don’t do well around people and even if its just a matter of a, “my word vs. his” scenario I am often not able to be articulate or keep my composure in public You would hopefully, of course, hire an attorney for represesent you on this. Not just because you may be inarticulate, but because you really don't want to make any statements that can be used against you at a later trial.

plus I cant get the time off work. You may want consider taking a personal day or getting "sick".

I was thinking of leaving the state within the next six months anyway but now in light of this complaint I might take off sooner.. Will not change the criminal background.

Would this be something that could follow me and/or affect my ability to get a job in another state?
100%, yes. I do not recommend blowing it off, I do not recommend handling it alone. This is particularly so since you have a spanking clean record thus far, it would be a shame to have it marred by a false accusation. Not to mention, if they charge you, you will have a warrant out for your arrest, which can be discovered all over.

Good luck here with your decision.

I hope this helps clarify for you.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks so much for your prompt response, I have a few more questions for clarification..

 

 

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?

 

 

Also I think I forgot to say that im in the state of California...just for the record.

 

Would I have to hire an attourney for this since it's only a city attourney hearing and what typically goes on in these hearings..how do it all work? Is their anyway to see the exact nature of the complaint before my hearing date? 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.

 

If I do need an attourney, how would I get one and would I have to pay for their services?

 

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?

 

isn't a criminal complaint different than a criminal charge? So if they do go ahead with filing the criminal complaint, what could that mean for me?

Thanks for your help and patience.

Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

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.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thanks so much, i promise to you for your services within the week...i want my aunt who's a paralegal look this over just to make sure i haven't left anything out.
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,

thanks so much, i promise to you for your services within the week...i want my aunt who's a paralegal look this over just to make sure i haven't left anything out.
Thanks for checking back. I will be here if and when you need.

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