here's the deal- would love some help:
Got nabbed at a hardware store in WA.- Whatcom County, $12 item...
paid $124 on the spot to clear up the civil end of things... signed a trespass agreement, then cop came and gave me a ticket.
on the ticket NEITHER mandatory appearance was checked OR Bail Forfeiture, but he wrote a court date, and wrote $500 in the BF spot and said take your pick.
I went to the arraignment and plead not guilty, and applied for a public defender. In Washington there is no deferment program, and the PD at the courtroom said it is not likely to get a civil compromise from the store.
I asked the PD about the Bail Forfeiture option- whether is goes "on my record" like for filling out job applications and so forth and she said it's "not really a conviction and it's not really NOT a conviction..."
I even asked the judge when I appealed for a PD, and she said SHE didn't know if a BF on a misdemeanor meant a conviction or not...
I am approved for a PD, but will have to pay $200. the typical fine for this offense is $300. the Prosecutor's offer was $300, no probation, and 6 hours community service- and it goes on my record forever.
so what should I do? just go pay the $500 and save myself a bunch of time and court appearances? or pay the $200 for a PD and go to court and try to bargain this off my record?
( I also have a MIP from 10 years ago, and a noise violation from 6 years ago)
ANY info about a "bail forfeiture" or "bond forfeiture" would be welcome.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!