Can a determination of guilt in a receiving stolen property charge be determined by one’s ability to pay offthe victim?

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Can a determination of guilt in a receiving stolen property charge be determined by one’s ability to pay offthe victim?

My boyfriend left some things in my garage, which the police later found and are saying iare stolen. They decided to charge me too because the things were on my property. The DA offered me a deal to drop the charge from felony to misdemeanor and expunge after a year. I said no because I just got my master’s degree, have never been in trouble and they have no real evidence against me. So the DA said they’d drop the charges if I paid the victims whatever they deemed appropriate, but the victim is asking for 40 times the valued amount.Can my criminal liability be conditioned upon my socio-economic capacities?

Asked on August 1, 2011 California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are being railroaded here.  Do you have an attorney?  Then you need to get one.  If in fact you were convicted of a crime and had to pay restitution you would only have to pay back what the property was worth and not 40 times the amount.  And it sounds to me as if this is some sort of plea deal but if there is no real evidence against you why would you make a plea?  Please get some legal help with all of this.  You are more than smart to protect your newly acquired degree and your future which is at stake here.  And make sure that when all charges are dropped the arrest record gets expunged.  Otherwise it will show up on a background check.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are being railroaded here.  Do you have an attorney?  Then you need to get one.  If in fact you were convicted of a crime and had to pay restitution you would only have to pay back what the property was worth and not 40 times the amount.  And it sounds to me as if this is some sort of plea deal but if there is no real evidence against you why would you make a plea?  Please get some legal help with all of this.  You are more than smart to protect your newly acquired degree and your future which is at stake here.  And make sure that when all charges are dropped the arrest record gets expunged.  Otherwise it will show up on a background check.  Good luck.


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