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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
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Experience:  20 years of experience practicing law.
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I am 20 years old and I was written a citation at K-mart (Concord,

Customer Question

I am 20 years old and I was written a citation at K-mart (Concord, NC—G.S. 14-72(A))… for larceny valuing $59.97. This is my first time offense and I have been a straight A student all my life. I realized this was a horrible mistake and regret it completely. I am worried this will affect my ability to get a job and I am not sure what my best course of action is. Should I talk to the DA for a deferral program ahead of the time of the court date or should I hire a lawyer instead. I am concerned about this because I do not want to pay for a lawyer unless I have to seeing how I am tight on money. However, I will hire a lawyer if need be because I want this expunged off my record.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I am an attorney with more than 25 years of experience and I look forward to assisting you with this matter today

When is your arraignment date?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I was charged on 5-2-13 and my court date is in June. The police was involved and I was only written a citation and I also signed Kmart papers saying what I took.

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I see.

Well, you can still plead Not Guilty at your hearing in June. And then request the court to provide you with a Public Defender. It's not that you cannot speak to the DA yourself about a plea for a deferred adjudication which means probation and then expunged when completed successfully, it's just a local attorney will be able to do it so much better

But if you want to represent yourself, since you already signed the statement of guilt, you can talk to the DA on your own. It's not like anything you tell them at this point is going to cause more charges But they can use what you say against you and that is why it is better to have a local attorney negotiate the plea for you


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

During my probation period for completing the deferred adjudication, how will this affect me when I apply for part time jobs this summer. Do I have to check the box when they ask if I have any prior convictions? Do part time jobs typically run back ground checks? In your prior experience for this level of charge against me, what would the typical amount of court fees be? (could you be more specific than a broad range, e.x. $100-1000)

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Well court fines and fees are different.

Fees are generated based on county and so there is no way I can tell you what that is.

As to the criminal charge it is a Class 1 misdemeanor and it carries a fine not to exceed $1000 and that is the best I can do because that is what the law says and I am not the judge. So I don't know what they will fine you.

As to your employment, it depends on where you work part time. They can do a background check for part timers. And yes, you would have to say you have a conviction until you are finished you probation. Then you do not have to say you have any convictions, once the Guilty plea is removed from your record. There needs to be a guilty plea before you can get the deferred adjudication.

I suggest you can also see if the DA will reduce the Class 1 to a Class 3

A first offense of concealment of merchandise constitutes a Class 3 misdemeanor in North Carolina, and the offender may receive only a suspended sentence of imprisonment, so long as the offender performs 24 hours of community service.

So that might be very helpful to you. Again, a local attorney can be your best bet on getting that done for you It is always best to have a local attorney in these matters

 

I am sorry that you have gotten into this situation.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your insight. I think my best bet is to hire a lawyer. Do you know the amount for a typical criminal defense lawyer would run me for this misdemeanor, seeing as how I am on a college budget? Or would a public attorney be fine for this situation?


 


To clarify, since this is my first offense I will get a class 3 charge. What are the implications?

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.
Hi

I cannot guarantee it will be reduced to a Class 3 that is why I suggested it as an option

I suggest that a Public Defender can get the results you want from this matter. But you have to first go to your arraignment and plead not guilty and request the PD and then go consult with that office

If it gets reduced to a class 3 you may only have to do the community service and be done with the entire matter.

I suggest a private attorney will want about a $1500 retainer.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How can I plead not guilty when I signed the K-mart forum saying I was involved with larceny? Do those papers affect anything in the court proceedings?


 

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thank you for the follow up

You can plead not guilty regardless of what you signed. Maybe what you signed wouldnt even be admissible as evidence. The state always has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and who did it. So it does not matter. You need to plead Not Guilty if you are going to have the court appoint you a public defender


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me when you are done.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I got some advice from an attorney and he said an option would be mediation. He said my case might be dropped if I also send in an apology letter. He also said a prayer for judgement would not really help me because I am still attending a university.

 

Does this mean my record would be cleared? Should I contact K-mart and the mediation center to setup a meeting without a lawyer? How should I go about this in a professional manner?

 

Here is a link I found regarding mediation in NC:

http://www.nccourts.org/Support/FAQs/FAQs.asp?Type=19&language=1

Expert:  Sam replied 1 year ago.
Hello

You can certainly try to do this on your own. And contact K Mart and see if they will agree to mediation and yes, part of that would be that you have a clean record at the end which is similar to what I told you earlier.

Just remember, that whatever YOU say to K Mart can and will be used against you and that is why I suggest it would be best to have a local attorney contact them about the mediation on your behalf

Thank You and good luck

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