Should I pay a fine for trespassing without fighting it?

I had a panic attack and signed admitting to the charge. I was under pressure and pleading them to bring my mental disable daughter inside the store, she was left outside the store alone when they pulled me in. Will this charge stay in my record even if I pay it?

Asked on July 30, 2015 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, convictions usually stay on your record for a lifetime... because they are public records.  However, there are some limited exceptions for obtaining expunctions... depending on how you enter your plea with the courts.  I would strongly recommend that you set up a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.  Many will offer free or inexpensive consultations.  If you can find more than one to offer a free consultation, it wouldn't hurt to get two opinions.  There are two areas that you want to focus on...the nature of the plea that you will need to enter and any potential defenses.  I'm not sure what you signed, but there is a chance that any admissions could be thrown out because they were basically holding your disabled daughter hostage.  Even when they are obtained in a private settings, statements and admissions still have to be voluntary to be admissible in a criminal trial.  If you have not entered a formal plea, there may still be a chance of defeating the charge... or working the plea bargain in such a way to earn a dismissal or expunction.


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