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MyraB, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 371
Experience:  I have over 20 years experience in criminal law and civil litigation from pre-trial practice to appeal.
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I got a retail theft ticket a week ago. I have one prior that

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I got a retail theft ticket a week ago. I have one prior that I took a plea of abeyance for and finished all my community service. I have another theft but I pled not guilty and have a pre-trial in October. Does the ticket I finished for plea of abeyance count onto the three strikes law?
Hello and thank you for your question.

None of your offenses would count under the three strikes law in Utah. The habitual offender statute applies to first and second degree felonies and requires that a person be convicted of a third violent felony and that he or she have been previously convicted on at least two previous occasions of a violent felony and committed to either prison in Utah or an equivalent correctional institution of another state or of the United States.

Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So, if I am convicted of the two tickets guilty and I already have that third one that I did the plea of abeyance for, I will not receive a felony? The cop who arrested me last time (they did not take me to jail) told me that if I do not win my case for one of my theft tickets then it is an automatic felony and I might serve jail time
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am not very smart so I do not understand . Your service is great, I just do not understand. The cop said that since I had three tickets it will become an automatic felony. 1. First ticket I got was in 2011 and I took a plea of abeyance and did community service 2. I pled not guilty and I go back to court in October for a pre- trial 3. Third time I go in on September 15. The third ticket should I plead not guilty ? I really do not want a felony or to serve jail time .

Thank you for your response. I am sorry that you rated poor service while I was researching your situation.

Your original question was regarding the three strikes law. Under that law none of your offenses count because they are not qualifying felonies and you were not convicted and did not receive a sentence of commitment to prison.

However, under the retail theft statute a third or subsequent offense is a felony of the third degree regardless of the value of the merchandise. The statute may be found here
Under state law the plea in abeyance does not count as a conviction and the offense for which you pleaded not guilty would not count as a prior offense because you have not been found guilty or plead guilty, so this newest offense could not be charged as a third offense and is not an automatic felony. Nevertheless, the judge may consider your criminal record in sentencing and even a first offense retail theft charge can carry a jail sentence of up to 180 days.

At this point you may want to consult a local criminal defense attorney who would be in the best position to advise you based on the unique circumstances of your case. If you cannot afford an attorney you can request one from the court. It is likely that an attorney can negotiate a deal that disposes of the two pending cases at the same time and keeps you out of jail. And, yes, you should plead not guilty on this latest charge. That will give you the opportunity to talk to an attorney.

Let me know if you need any further information and please consider re-rating my service.

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