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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26821
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My girlfriend has court tomorrow her charge was 414.39 1a -

Customer Question

My girlfriend has court tomorrow her charge was 414.39 1a - Fail to Disclose Facts to Obtain Public Aid $200 or More (LEV:F DEG:T 951) I'm wondering if she will receive jail time . she is a good person doesn't need to be in jail Plus its her first offense
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: They asked her to write a letter of exposing what happened
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thats pretty much it
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Who is "they" who have asked her to essentially write a confession?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm guessing it was DCF.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I came home after work and they arrested her. Her bond was $5,000 but I paid $500
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. Please give me a moment to type a response.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Typically, although prison is indicated for an offense like this, on a first arrest a defendant on this type of crime is generally offered probation. There are two reasons for that: 1) the government will want her punished but at the same time they want any overpayment they issued paid back. Keeping a defendant out of jail and able to work enables her to make restitution payments. 2) It costs a great deal of money to feed and house a prisoner and the state has already lost enough money through her illegal act. They will not want to lose more.

I have handled cases like this many times in my own state, and in my experience, your girlfriend's lawyer should be able to negotiate a probation offer if that's what your girlfriend wants.

Does she have a lawyer?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No we cannot afford one we are paying for a public defender. She works as a CNA will this charge effect her record will she be charged a felony or will they expunge her charge if all the money is paid back.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Yes. A felony conviction would likely cost your girlfriend her license. Her arrest and her conviction would appear on her record and it is not expunged just because she paid the money back. Florida does not expunge felony convictions.

I don't know that her lawyer would be able to negotiate a deferred adjudication for her which would allow her to get the case dismissed upon successful completion of her probation and restitution. My experience is it not typically offered where the government itself is the complainant, but your girlfriend needs to speak to her lawyer and let her know she's concerned about being able to keep working as a CNA and that if there's any way she can come out of this without a conviction, that's what she wants to do.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
she will not serve jail time correct, we have children together a 1 year old daughter at that. I don't know what I would do if she is to serve jail time
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Sorry for the delay. When you did not respond right away, I stepped away from the computer to run some local errands.

I cannot guarantee that she won't serve jail time as I don't know your judge, your prosecutor or any of the evidence against her. What I can assure you, however, is that I have never seen someone with this charge on a first arrest ever have to do jail time. In my experience a probation offer under these same circumstances will be available and is the typical offer for this charge.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.