Redlands, CA asked in Criminal Law for California

Q: First time committing a felony (welfare fraud) took a total of 38,000 dollars. Started paying back money in April.

I have 2 children and can not afford a lawyer. I took a total in calworks, food stamps for 2 years totallying 38,000 dollars. I have made an agreement to pay 100 dollars per month faithfully until paid off. They accepted my terms. But I got a letter to go to court for arraignment. I do not know what will happen to me. This is my first time being charged with anything. Will I have to face jail time?

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4 Lawyer Answers
Dmitry Gorin
Dmitry Gorin
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Can't make a prediction at this point on jail time. It will depend on a variety of different factors...mainly whether your case is filed as a misdemeanor or felony offense. If you have no prior criminal history, you stand a much better chance of avoiding a jail sentence. At your arraignment, you will be assigned a public defender at no cost to you. They will review the details and explain options. Suggest you stop making any further incriminating statements on a public website like Justia. Best of luck to your and your children.

Hayden Gifford Smith
Hayden Gifford Smith
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Visalia, CA

A: You'll likely be ok as long as you keep paying the restitution.

A word of advice: in lean months when the temptation is high to spend the $100 somewhere else (or you don't have it) write in to the office ahead of time. Try to keep missed payments down to a dull roar. You'll be paying the restitution off for the rest of your life at that rate.

Pay steadily for a couple of years and think about asking the judge for clemency. It's a long shot. 38K is an eyebrow-raising amount, so don't count on anything. One day at a time. Best of luck!

(Judges can't officially excuse restitution, but if and when probation ends the obligation will become a civil judgment, which CAN be vacated in equity.)

Dmitry Gorin agrees with this answer

Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: more info is needed

did you start paying back on your own or only after you were caught?

if filed as a felony it is more likely to have jail time imposed.

if a misdemeanor you can possibly do home arrest with an ankle bracelet.

another factor is the court and DA.........but stop posting on sights like this and incriminating yourself.

Dmitry Gorin agrees with this answer

Wais Azami
Wais Azami
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Garden Grove, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This site if followed by DA's and cops. Please don't make any admissions online about the facts of your case before case disposition. As I've told you before, more information is needed and you'll need to consult an attorney confidentially to get a better answer.

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