Legal Question in Civil Litigation in California
While visiting a theme park I found an unattended bag with about $22,000 in cash in it. We took the cash and left the bag. We tried to return and find the bag but it had been found by park staff apparently. We spent a couple hundred and two days later, feeling remorseful, I gathered 14,000 and took it to the police station. I recieved a call from the detective stating the person claiming the bag stated there was more (which there was, but I was hesitant to turn it all in, thinking 'finders keepers'). In my fear of the moment I told the detective that we had not spent any of it and that was all the money we found in the bag. He gave me his number and though he thanked me for turning it in said I look to be guilty of stealing the remaining amount. I want to know the best way to go about it from here. My initial thought is to gather the rest of the money, return the items I bought, and fill in whatever gap is left with my own cash and just call the detective but I want to know what I need to prepare for in case of criminal charges. What charges could be made? What kind of penalties could I come up against? etc...
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your question is about criminal law, not civil litigation. I suggest re-posting it in that category.
You would have been better off not taking any of the money, of course. You would also have been better off talking to an attorney before doing any of this. Now, you need to consult with counsel to determine how to handle this to minimize your risks. Your attorney should be negotiating with the police, not you. If serious about doing so, feel free to contact me.