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  • Jul 13, 2007, 06:24 PM
    Theft ($50-500), Misdemeanor
    Yeah I'm not a good speller or typist. I know I spelt "theif" wrong. My bad.

    Okay so I got caught stealing $700 dollars from my employeer on video and I have confessed to 3 people that I committed this crime, now my parents are trying to hire the best lawyer possible so that it doesn't show on my permanent record. I am barely 18 and this is my first time offense and first time ever stealing. Now the lawyer said that we should do the pretrial diversion and I have to write an apology letter. My question is "what is the format i should follow?" it needs to be 1-2 pages long. I have one paragraph so far and I need guidance as how to proceed further. I face a sentence in jail w/o the conviction taken off. And the route of probation is unlikely, so says my lawyer. If anyone could give me advice as how to write the letter or any other advice I would grately appreciate it. I am in the state of Texas if that helps.

    I know that I did not steal the money for personal gain because my parents have bought me 99.9% of anything I have ever wanted in my life. I just did it... for attention maybe. I have no idea. I don't really remember doing this maybe because of shock that my actions were against the law. I am no Paris Hilton but I do have money. The night in jail was horrifying. I honestly felt that I was not a criminal and that I just made one horrible mistake. But at the same time I stole multiple times to reach the $700. And I remember the night before I got caught that I just wanted to return the money and just quit. But no, I chose to get rid of the money by buying an apple iPhone. Big Mistake.
    Well I don't know what else to write. I have typed everything that I wish to share. Please help in any way
  • Jul 13, 2007, 07:33 PM
    I supervise court-ordered community service workers. Recently, one had been ordered, as part of his probation, to write an apology letter to the person he had offended. I was asked to oversee the writing of the letter.

    He wrote the letter on lined paper (it could have been done on unlined too) in his own handwriting/printing that I made sure was legible. The important thing was that it was in his own hand, not typed.

    He wrote a draft first, with topic sentences at the beginning of each paragraph, and then corrected spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes before he wrote the final letter.

    Before he even started, we talked about what he had done (he took notes as we talked), why he had done it, how the offended person had probably felt about the offense and about him, how he felt when he committed the offense, how he felt after he had done it, how he would make it up to the offended person, what this experience taught him about doing wrong things, and how things will be different in the future. He managed to get a page and a half out of all that. Of course, an apology was at the beginning and end of the letter.

    His probation officer was very pleased with the final draft.

    Give it a try. Let the thoughts flow. Then organize them into your letter.
  • Jul 14, 2007, 06:11 AM
    For the most part, the questions you are be asking here you should be asking your lawyer. That's what you hired him/her for. Has your lawyer suggested possibly trying to negotiate a settlement with your former employer where you agree to reimburse them the amount you stole plus extra to cover overhead costs (I'd suggest double, or $1400), in exchange for them not pressing charges against you or, at the very least, agreeing to not testify against you in court? In the absence of any witnesses' testimony, the judge would have no choice but to drop the charges. You would simply plead not guilty (even though you are) and say nothing more (as per your 5th amendment rights.) Run this suggestion by your lawyer and see what (s)he says. After all, sending you to jail is ultimately of no benefit to your employer, as they're still out the $700. Even if you're ordered to pay restitution through the court, your employer will only see a fraction of that as the court will keep a significant amount for administrative fees, etc. Your employer best benefits and recoups their loss by you paying them directly (through your lawyer.) The $1400 figure that I gave you includes the actual loss amount of $700 plus an extra $700 to cover associated costs involved with recovering the loss. That's the best arrangement for them and certainly for you as well.

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