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Man accused of stealing priceless dinosaur footprint

It can be difficult to know what to do when faced with a criminal charge in South Carolina. Perhaps you made a mistake, or unknowingly got into trouble. Perhaps the accusations are completely unfounded. Getting your side of the story across is essential if you wish to reduce the risk of conviction and criminal charges.

In Utah, a 35-year-old man has been accused of stealing a dinosaur footprint from a jeep trail near Moab. The fossilized print, which is reported to be priceless, is thought to have been removed Feb. 17. He is believed to have kept the piece of sandstone which weighed in somewhere between 100 and 150 pounds, until March 3, when he is thought to have disposed of it.

It is possible that the print was thrown into the nearby Colorado River, although authorities have not commented on why they suspect this. The accused has chosen to plead not guilty, while his lawyer asserts that her client had not realized the seriousness of his actions. She further states that he simply had a personal interest in the three-toed dinosaur track and had not had any plans to sell it.

It is impossible to guess whether the print might ever be recovered, but the accused has since faced federal charges. The charges include theft and damage of government property, as well as removing paleontological resources. This latter charge can result in a prison term of up to 20 years.

It happened in another state, but residents of Utah can learn from this man’s example. Choosing whether to plead guilty or not is an important step in your defense. An attorney may be able to advise you and help you make that decision. By ensuring the court hears your version of events, you may be able to increase your chances of avoiding conviction and the damage that might do to your reputation and your future.

Source: Miami Herald, “Man pleads not guilty to stealing dinosaur print,” Michelle L. Price, April 30, 2014

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