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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I was terminated from my employment from Target at Novato for

Customer Question

I was terminated from my employment from Target at Novato for $400 embelezzment. I paid the $400 back on the spot. I did not sign a statement of gilt. They said they had it on film. I did not see the film. I did verbally admit the theft. The local police came in and issued a 503 emblezzment citation and let me go with a court date of November 20. I am living in a garage and will soon be admitted into in the Yountville VA home. I am recovering from Pneumonia and have no money for a fine.........what am I facing and what can I do to soften the blow?..........Ralph Procopio.........XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Embezzlement is under the umbrella of "theft" in California law. For amounts taken under $950, that would be "petty theft". Petty theft embezzlement is a misdemeanor punishable by:



  • A fine of up to $1000 and/or

  • Imprisonment in county jail for up to six months

ScottyMacEsq :

Most likely it's not "just" a fine.

ScottyMacEsq :

This hearing will most likely be the arraignment. The arraignment is a hearing where you plead either guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre (no contest). For all intents and purposes, "no contest" is essentially pleading guilty, and the judge can sentence you then and there IF you plead no contest or not guilty. Now I always suggest individuals without a deal plead not guilty, as that is your right, and it gives you more time to work out a deal with the prosecution. You see, pleading guilty in an arraignment is like paying MSRP for a new car. You can do it, but you can get a much better deal if you hold out for some time and start bargaining. This hearing is not where any evidence is heard or any motions brought. Rather, it's where you plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest, and the court sets the case for trial if you plead not guilty (as well as time periods for other pre trial motions).




So long as you remember the words "not guilty" and say them when the judge asks "how do you plead" then you should be fine in this hearing.





Now I would highly recommend that you get an attorney to assist you, either before or after the arraignment, but preferably as soon as possible.


ScottyMacEsq :

If you don't have a lot of money, you may qualify for a court appointed lawyer. I would contact the court clerk in this court to inquire about that. They'll have a way that you can verify your income and assets, and if they fall below a set minimum, you will be appointed a lawyer by the court. This is certainly preferable than going "pro se" (on your own).

ScottyMacEsq :

It's unlikely that you would merely get a "fine" (as if it were a traffic ticket). This is a misdemeanor citation, and is more serious as a result.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate this answer either a 3, 4, or 5 (good or better). Please note that I do not get any credit for this answer unless and until you rate it that way. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12230
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can I go in before November 20 to plead not guilty. The citation said to appear on or before 11/20/13. I am going to be accepted in the veterans home at Yountville on November 19 and I do not want to jeopardize my chances at getting accepted. I have no money and have COPD and Pneunonia among other medical,problems. I also did two tours with the USMC in Vietnam. Will the judge be at all sympathetic? I did pay back what I embezzled and more while being coerced just to get out of there. I was thoroughly embarrassed at what I had done to survive at the time.


 


Ralph Procopio

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can I appear before the on or before date of 11/20/13 as stated on the citation. I an scheduled to be accepted in a Veterans Home at Yountville on November 19. I am living as a homeless in a cold , wet garage with no money and several medical issues. I have COPD, Pneumonia and other issues with my legs. Will the judge take into consideration these issues and my two tours with the USMC in Vietnam and the fact I paid everything back to go a little easy on me?


 


Ralph Procopio

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
It's possible. That's something that the clerk would have to determine (what happens if you appear before that date, etc...) To be honest I can't say what they will do, as this is largely in the discretion of the judge and the prosecutor. It's possible that they'll "go easy" on you, but it's also possible that they won't. I wish I could be more specific, but please understand that I couldn't possibly know how the judge will rule in your situation or if the prosecutor will vigorously pursue this matter or not.

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