How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12403
Experience:  JD, MBA
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have twin boys who are 19 yrs old. One was caught shoplifting

Customer Question

I have twin boys who are 19 yrs old. One was caught shoplifting and gave the police his twin's name instead of his own. As neither showed up for the court hearing a warrant was issued. I took my son to the court and spoke with the judge regarding the issue. He "lifted" the warrant and scheduled fir trial informing my son that he will need an attorney. He professed his innocence and the judge stated "I've heard that one before." The guilty twin is no where to be found and we really need to get this straightened out, but cannot afford an attorney. His trial is tomorrow afternoon. He has a friend who states that he was there when the shoplifting incident occurred. Can he use this friend as a witness?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Yes, the friend can certainly be called as a witness to testify that your innocent son did not shoplift. Something else to consider is a fingerprint analysis. Your guilty son must have been forced to provide fingerprints when he was arrested. Your innocent son can ask that his own fingerprints be compared. I think that you and your innocent son made a mistake by talking to the judge, however. He should have explained the situation to the police and prosecutor, as they may have been willing to listen to your arguments and examine fingerprints. It may be too late for that now, since the trial is tomorrow. Still, I'd contact the prosecutor to explain and ask if the trial can be postponed pending a fingerprint analysis.

I hope that helps. Please remember to click "accept."
TJ, Esq. and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am unsure if the "bad twin" was arrested. I think he was just issued a ticket. Would it be advised to try to talk with the prosecutor to see if we could get the charges dropped or placed onto the other twin and if so, how do we go about this? Can we just go to the prosecutor's office?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hi again.

You can call the prosecutor's office and ask to speak to the prosecutor handling the case. If the guilty twin wasn't arrested, and was merely issued a ticket, then the fingerprint argument is useless. Still, your innocent son can present evidence that he is a twin, and have the witness testify that the guilty son actually shoplifted. I would think that would create reasonable doubt.

I truly wish your son luck!