Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Ca. Penal code section 487 (1) Grand theft

In 1992 I was charged with violation Penal Code section 487(1)grand theft-personal property.I was order to pay restitution $18,000 . I have paid the above amount in full(2009). On October 1996 my probation was revoked by the sup. Court for returning to Thailand for my liver cancer treatment.I reestablhised contact contact court . My liver cancer was removed in the hospital in Thailand.

The probation was revoked due to the fact that I left the USA and I allowed my son to continue the retitution payments in 1992 but in 1996 for unknown reason, he stopped the payments and cut all contact with me.I found out about this in 2008) Now I want to go back to the USA to see my mother before she passes away she is in the hospital for brain damage.If I have a lawyer to represent me , what would happen to me when I arrive at the airport. Can the lawyer seeking for 1203.3 penal code to expunge me. After all it is 17 years ago and I have not committed any violation and I am not living in Ca. for the past 13 years. Please tell me about my situation. Thank you

Asked on 4/25/09, 7:35 am

5 Answers from Attorneys

Jacek W. Lentz Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz

Re: Ca. Penal code section 487 (1) Grand theft

Questions you are asking should be directed to your lawyer. If you do not have trust your lawyer is handling the matter well, cal a few other attorneys to get a sense who might be best for you.

That said, there are two aspects to your case. First is whether there is a warrant out on you. If yes, you risk being arrested and taken to court for that reason alone. Second, it is possible your conviction has made you inadmissible to enter the US. If yes, this means you would be turned back and not allowed to enter the US.

I would need to know more facts in order to advise you more accurately.

Jacek W. Lentz, Esq.


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Answered on 4/25/09, 7:31 pm


Re: Ca. Penal code section 487 (1) Grand theft

You cannot expunge it. You must have your probation reinstated. Have an attorney ready to take you to the court for an appearance on the warrant. I have had many probations reinstated, and, in this case, you may have it reinstated if you proceed correctly. Contact me directly.

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Answered on 4/26/09, 2:37 pm
Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: Ca. Penal code section 487 (1) Grand theft

I am sorry to hear about your mother, and it's anybody's guess what will or will not happen at the airport. If you are arrested at the airport, it will help to have an attorney lined up in advance to argue for your release on your own recognizance. If you are not arrested, it would help you to have an attorney make an expungement motion. It will also help if you have proof of making all your restitution payments.

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Answered on 4/25/09, 11:21 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Ca. Penal code section 487 (1) Grand theft

Expungement applies only to convictions where all probation terms are completed. You haven't done so yet. You have a felony warrant for your arrest, which will occur upon your arrival at a USA airport. The only way to deal with this now is that you must return to court and submit to the court on the warrant and probation violation charges. Since this is a felony, you must be personally present in court to do so. An attorney may be able to pre-arrange a 'deal' with the DA and court which would allow you to enter the country and turn yourself in voluntarily without be arrested at the airport. If this is in SoCal courts, and if you're serious about getting counsel, feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 4/26/09, 6:36 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: Ca. Penal code section 487 (1) Grand theft

Only misdemeanors can be expunged. Your conviction was for a felony. In theory, you could have your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged in a second step. I say "in theory" because the fact that you did not successfully complete probation will almost surely get in the way.

If you enter the United States while this matter remains unresolved, you will likely be arrested at the airport. Assuming you return to California, you will then be brought before a court, where you might be sent to prison for violating your probation. (If you return in a different state, you will be held there while California decides whether to extradite you. There is a good chance that it would do so, at which point you would be sent to court.) I'm not saying this will necessarily happen, but it's likely enough that you should have a lawyer standing by to help you.

Whatever happens, resolving your problems will take time. I don't know how much time your mother has. You should start looking for lawyers immediately so you can do whatever must be done as quickly as possible.

Good luck.

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Answered on 4/25/09, 4:44 pm

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