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Class B Misdemeanor for Theft in Texas. First Offense. What should I plea and ask for?

Houston, TX |

I just turned 18 and I was caught shoplifting along with two other people. They counted our merchandise all together which was $229 total. But they charged me with theft, not conspiracy. The item in my possession cost $80. I was bonded out and have court in a week.

I have been looking up what could possibly happen but I would like to know what can happen in my case, or at least the possibilities. My fiance's sister is a cop and said I most likely will just be fined. I was told I should plead no contest.

I need some more professional opinions on what to do though, considering I am pregnant and don’t want to be in jail. Trust me, I know this was a mistake and I need to get away from these influences. If someone could please take their time to answer this, I would greatly appreciate it.

Attorney Answers 3


DO NOT under any circumstances plead guilty to a theft and pay a fine. You will regret it the rest of your life. A theft conviction will follow you all your life and could prevent you from getting an apartment, a good job, getting many types of professional licenses, etc., etc. You may not realize it now but this could very costly for you later on.

You must get a lawyer to review the case to make sure the state can prove you did it. If the evidence is strongly against you, there are other ways to prevent a final conviction. Deferred adjudication, special expense, pre-trial diversion; all of these may prevent a final conviction for a theft.

Do yourself a big favor and spend the money on a good lawyer. The court will appoint you an attorney if you cannot afford one. Better to spend money now and get a good criminal lawyer. Do not get a lawyer who only dabbles in criminal defense, get one who does it full time who can advise you better.

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I agree. You will regret a decision to plead guilty. That can never be expunged off you record. Other options are a pre-trial diversion or a deferred probation. With either result, you can either get your record expunged or sealed. Good luck!

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Theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and a conviction (or even a straight probation) for theft can have many negative consequences, including the inability to get a job (who would trust a thief?), the inability to get housing, enhanced punishment if you get in trouble again, and impeachment if you are in a lawsuit in the future.

You need to hire a lawyer who can help you get the best possible outcome. While it is not likely you will get a straight-up dismissal, it is possible that you can get a pre-trial diversion or, at the very least, a deferred adjudication probation.

Do NOT listen to your fiance's sister. A final conviction is NOT what you want because it will stay with you forever.

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