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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 92551
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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On the 3rd degree shoplifting charge they offered the diversion

Resolved Question:

On the 3rd degree shoplifting charge they offered the diversion program which would be fine but I would not be able to get a job in my career until it was over. I work in the insurance industry and hold a stste license. They told me my jobs would be in the area of fast food which would not pay my bills and I have no family in Florida. The lady at the diversion program said to talk to the Public Defender. I have a mental health history my entire life and can prove it.
Do you think that if I used the mental health issues and go in front of the judgewould be the way to go or the diversion program and get with charitable organizations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The diversion program is usually best in most of these cases unless you can get your doctors who are treating you for your mental health issues who would be willing to testify that because of your mental illness that you did not have the ability at the time of the offense to determine right or wrong or to control your impulse to take the item. Judges are very skeptical of mental health claims, so your attorney would have to present your medical records to the court and get your doctor to testify to convince the DA to dismiss or convince the court to find you not guilty.


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This is NOT the practice of law nor is it legal advice to you, it is merely educational information for you to use to seek out a licensed attorney in your state to get actual legal advice from them. Please use sites such as http://www.martindale.com or http://www.lexmundi.com or http://www.hg.org to find a local attorney to get actual legal advice in all matters.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I left out a few things that might be helpful.


At the time I was caught I had been observed taking a makeup tester only. Security said if I was honest and cooperated he would go light on me. He did not know about the crystal charms I took but I wanted to be honest. Never committed a crime before so didn't know better. My rights had not been read nor been offered an attorney.


As he was searching I volunteered the information. I was hoping that being honest would be the right thing, little late. He was going to let me go before I told him the truth.


Does that have any bearing?


Since my questions are now free, is there a case number?


One more. What kind of work is available for a educated pre-felon? Is Wendy's really the only type of job?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. If you have a subscription, you still have to leave excellent feedback for the expert to get credit for time spent working with you and it does not cost you extra money other than the subscription fee you already paid.

The security guard if not a police officer did not have to advise you of Miranda, only police officers must do so before questioning a defendant.

What you need to do is you need to get your mental health history records to your defense attorney so they can make your case for just a plain dismissal without deferred sentence with the DA that is you best bet here.

If you are convicted of this, it is tough to get employment in any type of professional occupation I am afraid. I wouldn't say only Wendy's but in this poor economy it will be very hard to get a job with a conviction on your record.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That is so extreme to take away my profession.


Mental health for me:


1. Grew up in an institution for mentally disturbed from age 10.


2. Death of 1 child.


3. Drug addict and alcoholic. Spent 1 year in live in treatment.


There's more and I can document it.


I was clean in 2000 relapse 2006. Clean 2006 till this. I was intoxicated at the time of the crime. Doses this sound like enough? I have been under the care of a psychiatrist the entire time. Tell me what you think.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

I understand your situation, it is not enough unless your treating doctor says that it is enough. Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a criminal act though. Your psychiatrist is going to have to testify that your mental health status was such that you could not have formed the intent necessary for this offense.

This is something you need to get to your defense attorney if you are going to argue mental health status, because you cannot argue this without an attorney representing you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I understand but I have 1 more question. I didn't ask it before because I am concerned it might be unethical and don't want to do it. Only as a last ditch effort.


While I was married I did not have to work so I spent my a lot of time volunteering for the party. One of my campaigns was successful and put the Mayor in office and I also made contributions in the thousands of dollars as well as my time. 40 hours a week. Would it be unethical to ask him for help?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

It would not be unethical to ask for help, it is up to him to decide if he can assist you or send one of his aides to assist you.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 92551
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
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Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience