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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26753
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was charged with petty theft and vandalism to a washer

Customer Question

i was charged with petty theft and vandalism to a washer machine the owner of the machine signed a contract stating he would drop all charges against me for the amount of 1000 dollars i paid him went to court and i am now being charged for vandalism to the washer machine but the petty theft was dropped can they do that
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced criminal lawyer.
Unfortunately, once the criminal justice system is involved the case no longer belongs to the complainant. He is not entitled to drop charges. That right belongs only to the prosecutor. The state is free to go forward whether the owner of the machine wishes to prosecute you or not. That is probably what is going on here.
If you can afford counsel, have a lawyer with you on your court date. He can reach out to the complainant and find out what is going on, and perhaps get this matter completely dismissed for you. You should not contact the complainant yourself now that the case is pending as that could be taken as witness tampering and could cause you to be charged with another offense.
If you are unable to retain a lawyer, plead not guilty at your arraignment and ask the court to appoint you a public defender who can take it from there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the vandalism charge they are charging me 400 dollars for the machinde 8 days work offednder program and probation for 2 years
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Have you pled guilty in court already? Have you got a lawyer?
If you have not pled guilty and you don't like the plea offer, you don't have to take it! You can get a lawyer if you don't have one already and see if he can negotiate something else for you.
Especially if the owner signed something and is not interested in prosecuting, the state may not be able to really make these charges stick. So dragging the case on for a bit could get you a much better deal.

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