Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California

Hi, my name is Sarah. My sister and I got a shoplifting misdemeanor on our record a couple years ago. We were at rite aid and took some products and tried to leave but we're caught. We fully cooperated from that point on. Between the both of us it was less than 50$, and on our records its split. Because we gave the product back and fully cooperated and the low amount, the employees at rite aid didn't call the police. They filled out some paperwork and let us go. Before we left we asked if it was gonna be on our records. They said it wouldn't be on our records cause they didn't call the cops. A few years later my sister got a job, they ran her background check and then had to let her go. That's when we found out that this was on our records. We found out that at the Santa Ana sheriff's office that the reason it was on there was because we missed a court date... But we never received any thing for a court hearing. Is there anyway to get this off or records, since we were never notified of the court date?

Asked on 5/08/13, 8:14 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

You have more trouble than you understand.

A 'missed court date' means you have an arrest warrant for you.

You don't 'get it off your record'.

To handle a warrant, you must turn yourself in to the issuing court, with or without an attorney. On felony charges, the defendant must be personally present at every court hearing and appearance. On misdemeanors and infractions, an attorney can appear in court without the defendant being present – which is safer and avoids immediately being taken into custody. You’ll try to negotiate a recall of the warrant[s] and seek bail reduction or OR release. You’ll try to negotiate a plea bargain on any ‘Failure to Appear’ charge or probation violation that caused the warrant. You’ll try to negotiate a plea bargain or take to trial the outstanding charge that caused the warrant. While this isn't a 'capital case', you now face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. Effective plea-bargaining by your attorney, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep you out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it. Unless you're competent to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor trying to put you in jail, most people hire an attorney who can. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 5/10/13, 12:37 am

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

You are going to need to find a criminal defense attorney to have this looked into and taken care of.

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Answered on 5/13/13, 10:31 am

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