I am in my 40’s and recently came back to Taiwan from Australia to rediscover my cultural heritage and learn the language. In the process I obtained a ROC ID with household registration due to my family familial bloodlines.
Now I am being prosecuted for NT5000 for “stealing” a NT60 bag of candy which in fact was intended for the kids. I was already running late and needed a red pen and stationary for student corrections. They didn’t sell it. Being in a rush I accidentally walked out with it. Keep in mind I come from a family of means and make a decent salary where one could legitimately give me the benefit of the doubt since why would I do it in broad daylight with my scooter parked out front and my face not obscured. Especially at a place that I frequent during my short lunch break.
Now I suffer from ADHD and anxiety and those situations are exacerbated when I am in a rush.
Long story short, the owner files a police report and tries to extort NT4000 at the police station from me to go away. I ask politely if there’s a more reasonable amount that we could discuss. She becomes indignant and intransigent so I call my father who is fluent in Chinese. She proceeds to yell at him telling him that he raised a thief and that she’s being more than generous.
Long story short, a magistrate hearing is set, and she now insists on NT8000 since this is time out of her day andwould not budge. So the Magistrate sets another hearing.
At the next hearing the magistrate misled me into believing if I just pay NT65 in restitution that my criminal responsibilities would be absolved.
Instead, a week later, I get one of those speedy trial letters from the prosecutor where he claims he looked at the evidence and finds intent to steal and that I looked guilty on the CCTV and unilaterally decides to fine me NT5000.
Back home a prosecutor would never take a case where the damage was only 65NT. Morever, a judge would never hear a case that involved only NT65.
So I appealed the judgement bringing in a certified letter from my Taiwanese psychiatrist that had been treating me 7 months prior to this incident. This is in addition to my father having to refute his reasoning for his sentence.
I’m afraid that the judges might accept this appeal and uphold it even given the mitigating circumstances.
Moreover, isn’t this a wastes of tax payer money and time? Any further, and they will have to provide me a a court appointed attorney since my Chinese is not very good and call in expert witnesses (doctor) to see if my medical condition may have contributed to this crime.
I was very polite and showed contrition the whole way through. Now why would a judge in Taiwan even take such a small case where more time and money will be spent on lawyers, expert witnesses, translators for such a small case? Judges have the right to toss out cases where there are mitigating circumstances and when the crime is so pitiable that it doesn’t warrant prosecution and instead should be tossed?