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LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Hi I need quick advice on a legal matter. I had a hearing

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I need quick advice on a legal matter. I had a hearing this morning with my local clerk magistrate. They were trying to figure out if there's enough evidence to charge me with malicious damage to a motor vehicle. According to the police report the plaintiff called local police department and told them that their car was keyed after a dispute over a parking spot at Home Depot. The plaintiff took down my license plate number and gave it to the investigating officer. The officer states that Home Depots Video survillence shows that I parked a few spaces down and walked past the drivers side of the vehicle. They have surveillance of me walking past the drivers side door. The surveillance footage is not clear and you can not clearly identify me keying the car. It simply shows me walking past the drivers side door. Their evdience s weak to say the my opinion. The clerk magistrate said charges will be dropped and no criminal record will be issued if i agree to pay for the damages. If i dont agree, the officer representing my local police department is going to review the footage to see if there is enough evidence to indite me. I need advice if i should take the plea or have him reveiw the footage. Damages estimated at $1086.00 is it worth it to just pay for the damages or take my chances in being indited. Thanks
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. In the event that you are charged, are you going to take the case to trial and fight this?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thats what my question is. Should I take this case to trial and try to fight it?
The video is likely going to be circumstantial evidence. The reason I say this, is because you stated above that it does not clearly show you keying the car. However, you did walk past the drivers side and if this was not in the normal course or path of entering the Home Depot or your destitution, it is certainly questionable as to why you would do this and go out of your way. The burden is on the State to prove the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt. It will be up to a jury to decide if the State has met this burden, so the victim will likely be called to testify and explain why they think you did this and the video can likely be shown as well, to show what evidence they have, to link you to this alleged crime. If money is not an issue and you can pay it and the case will 100% be dismissed without anything on your record, then it is a guarantee. If you go to trial, there is no way of knowing what verdict the jury will reach. If I was able to pay for the damage and this would end the issue without any record of it, I would be inclined to do it, since I could guarantee the outcome, instead of leaving it up to strangers. At the same time, if you did not do this and can explain and want to testify, why you walked out of your way and by the car ( if I am understanding the facts correctly), then there is no point of paying for something that you did not do.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There is no point in paying for something that i didnt do. Financially does it make more sense to pay the $1086 for damages because if this does get taken to trial will i mostly be paying more for lawyer fees? Financially what makes the most sense? I told the clerk magistrate that I approached the vehicle to confront the driver to ask him why he deliberately stole the parking spit that I was pulling into. I will give you a review for sure! I appreciate your advice regarding this matter.
Thank you for the additional matter. If you are going to be indicted, then you would want to retain legal counsel, if you are going to fight this. You can represent yourself but that is at your discretion. The cost to retain an attorney could easily be more then the money demanded and even if you prevail at trial, will not get this money back. I think you may want to call a few criminal defense attorneys today and speak with them about the cost of representation, to see what it would be and if it is worth hiring them, when the same result could be obtained for much less, by paying it.
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