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Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

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Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby Alwaysanxious » Sun Feb 26, 2017 9:29 pm

Hello - I am not sure if this is the right place but I am after a bit of advice.

A friend of mine spent the night in jail in California last night for urinating on a quite prolific building while under the influence of booze. He has been told it is a misdemeanor, been given a $250 fine and told that he has to appear in court next month (when he will be out of the country).

He has no criminal record and is in Cali working for a couple of months before traveling and working in several other places over the world in the next few months.

I have no legal knowledge but from a Google it seems a misdemeanor will stay on your criminal record for life. Is that correct? I am not sure how it will appear on his record when back in the UK. He needs a DBS in order to work in the UK and abroad. Will a misdemeanor appear on a UK DBS check?

From my limited knowledge I think it should've probably been an infraction rather than misdemeanor and was wondering if it is worth it (or even possible) to have the charge dropped from misdemeanor to infraction? ...and how that will work when he's out of the USA and a UK citizen?!

Thanks for reading, I know this is lengthy and rambling. Any advice or direction would be very much appreciated.
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby shootist » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:35 pm

I'm unaware of any specific offence that is classed specifically as an infraction. Crimes in the US are generally either felonies or misdemeanours. It seems odd also that he has been fined already but still has to appear in court. It is quote possible that your friend might benefit from contacting a lawyer local to the incident who can probably get an adjournment, or at least tell your friend what the law is. If you are charged with an offence it is often useful to know the law before you enter a plea. As for what effect it may have on his employment in the UK, it will depend upon what he is obliged to declare under the terms of his employment contract and the law relating to mentioning previous convictions.

P.S.
What's a prolific building? Are they breeding them over there now?
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby 3.14 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:23 am

It seems that your friend needs to be there and not travelling. He needs to get a lawyer who can advise him in the state where it happened.
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby dls » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:44 am

Sorry, but if he is in a job needinga abds check, he needs to get a lawyer. It may be possible to avi a conviction as such. In any event he needs clarity.

It is very possible that the fact of such a conviction would not, as it were, leak over here, but it might. He then has to avoid learning the hard way not to translate a'misemeanour; into a full criminal offence by lying on a job application.
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby diy » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:06 pm

Its also unlikely that he will be allowed back in again.
Urinating in public on its own is a wobbler, meaning it can go either the infraction route or the misdemeanor route. He needs local legal help and not to even think about doing a runner.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby shootist » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:52 am

I've done a bit of digging on some US forums and I think the most likely explanation of events is that the idiot was arrested for public urination and at some later event was bailed, or released on some form of paid recognisance to appear at court at a later date. If I'm right then the next step should he fail to appear will be the issue of a warrant for his arrest. This will only have any effect if he encounters law enforcement while in the state and might seriously bugger his plans to stay there. There is no likelihood of extradition, and I haven't the faintest idea of how that will affect his status in the UK.

If he needs to return to California then it seems obvious that he should engage a local lawyer to rearrange his court date. He might also be advised to pay a little more attention to what is happening around him should he be arrested again.
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby shootist » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:56 am

diy wrote:Its also unlikely that he will be allowed back in again.
Urinating in public on its own is a wobbler, meaning it can go either the infraction route or the misdemeanor route. He needs local legal help and not to even think about doing a runner.


What is the difference between an infraction and a misdemeanour?
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby diy » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:03 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_criminal_law

Infraction - e.g. speeding, jumping a red light (Up to six months jail)
Misdemeanors - e.g. driving without a license - Any criminal offense that carries a maximum potential penalty of one year or less in the county jail is considered a misdemeanor
Felony - e.g. robbery - Any criminal offense that carries a maximum potential penalty of more than one year.

Its based on the penal code.

I think the closest equiv. is summary vs. either way vs. indictable.
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Re: Misdemeanor incurred in California by Brit

Postby atticus » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:34 am

The OP should understand that none of us are qualified to discuss U.S. law.
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