Will I have charges pressed against me for pawning my mother’s ring?

I’m barely 18 years old, a senior in high school, good grades, already been accepted into several schools but I made one really bad choice. I pawned my mom’s ring from her ex-husband (my dad). I got $800 for it (it was worth $5000). The ring was found and returned. Before she knew it was me, she got the police involved. Now I’m waitng to hear from the District Attorney. I’m really scared. I have absolutely no criminal background and my mom has forgiven me and she is just as worried as me.

Asked on October 27, 2011 under Criminal Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you did *was* a crime--theft.

Unfortunately, once the police are involved, the victim of the crime is no longer in charge of what happens; the authorities can decide to prosecute even if the victim doesn't want them to. That's no to say that they won't take the victim's wishes into affect, especially in intrafamily matters or matters which do not involve injury to a person, so they might respect your mother's wishes to not prosecute--but they don't have to.

If hyou are in fact charged with a crime, you need to retain a criminal defense attorney to help you. If you can't afford a lawyer, ask for one--one must be provided for you. Do not say anything to the authorities without first speaking with your attorney. Good luck.


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