What to do if I received a letter from a magisterial court for an incident that happened 20 years ago?

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2013

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What to do if I received a letter from a magisterial court for an incident that happened 20 years ago?

I called and they told me it’s for a criminal mischief. I was never arrested nor issued a citation then as I was in high school. I enlisted in the Marine Corps immediately after graduation and nothing was brought up at the time. Is it in my best interest to hire an attorney to fight this for me? Should I travel back across state to appear in court or should I just pay the fine of $482 and plead guilty. I have a spotless record and want to keep it this way. Is there any advice on how to handle this? I don’t even know what this 20 year old citation is pertaining to.

Asked on April 1, 2013 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Given what you have written about I suggest that you consult with a criminal defense attorney as to the best way to try and get the matter resolved. Possibly the statute of limitations to pursue the matter has long run and the matter will be dismissed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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