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JD, Criminal Justice Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1335
Experience:  Over 11 years of practice in litigation including 10 years as a state prosecutor
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ive been on the interenet most of the day trying to get in

Customer Question

ive been on the interenet most of the day trying to get in fo on identy theft- i was arrested for retail theft in 97 when i was arrested i used my sisters name , when my lawyer and i went to court she told the judge everything of what i did i got a 100 fine and supervision. over the years i found out about expundgements i went to court to get it off my record to find out the complaint form was never changed ps my sister had a warrant and i was arrested. . the judge said the fine was never paid so i repaid it. 3 years are up and im going back to get it sealed my concern is can i be charged with identy theft - i used your service earlier and the oither lawyer said it wasnt identy theft it was using a alias name. on the interent it says identy theft is 5 years for statue of limit but the oither lawyer says its only 3 years for a felony . can you please clear this all up for me > please only lawyers anwer im going crazy
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JD replied 9 years ago.
Let me get this straight... you were arrested in 1997 for retail theft. You used your sister's name. When you went to court she explained to the judge and they fined you? So were you in court together? Did the judge look at you... knowing you were not your sister and sentence you for the theft? Subsequently you have found out the paperwork resulting from that day in court is still in her name? Help me understand this...
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
yes we went together. the lawyer that i had told the judge that i had used her name if i call the court house its in my name i drive a school bus and the state police have everything in my name also it was just the complaint form that wasnt changed. when i went to get it expundged in 06   i was arrested because they still thought i was her she had   a warrant. i called the police dept the oither day where i was picked up at and the guy in records went and looked something up from the courts and it turned out everthing was mened so its all suppose to be in my name now . could i be arrested for identy theft when i go back in a couple of weeks to get sealed the oither lawyer i talked to on your site said it wasnt identy theft it was using a alias name   could you clear it up thanks
Expert:  JD replied 9 years ago.

I think I understand now. You ask if you could be arrested for identity theft. The answer to that is simply ... yes. However, I do not think you could be successfully prosecuted for identity theft, or even using an alias at this point for a couple of reasons. First, unless they filed the charges years ago it will likely be barred by the statute of limitations. Second, you generally have to be prosecuted for events arising out of the same criminal episode (if the state is aware of your conduct... which they were) at the same time.

What I'm saying to you is that it is likely that if they were going to charge you with using your sister's name, they would have already done it. Can I guarantee you that they will not attempt to prosecute you for using an alias name? No. But I find it very hard to imagine someone taking that much of an interest in the matter after all these years.

The way to avoid any potential problem in this situation is to contact an attorney in that district and have them do the expungement for you. This would likely cost very little and would prevent any unpleasant surprises (warrants popping out of nowhere). You should contact an attorney and have them file this paperwork on your behalf. They can also give you an opinion as to any residual exposure they see for the events of 1997.

Good luck.


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