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How long does it take to resolve a 1st time class B theft case (shoplifting $150), ie. dismissal, probation, pre-trial divrsn?

Houston, TX |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I know that no lawyers will promise/ guarantee any outcome, but if I was charged with 1st time offense class B theft, (absolutely no previous police record of any sort), HOW MANY times do i have to go into court so i can be free, go to work, get my life back on track? I just need to know when I can be free? I was bailed out about 2 weeks ago, already attended arraignment, and in process of selecting an attorney.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You either need to hire an attorney or apply for a court appointed attorney quickly if you are worried about resolving the case fast. If the attorney reviews the probable cause for the arrest and entire case file and sees no issues then they they can usually ask for pretrial diversion if your county has such a program b/c that would be the best for your record in the long run. Your attorney may also be able to file a waiver of your appearance and appear on your behalf so that you don't need to make unnecessary trips to the courthouse until your case is resolved. Good Luck.

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Posted

For first-time offenders there are more options. The attorney you hire hopefully by your next setting will review and get a copy of the police report and arrange to view the video. Your case will be reset again. If the evidence against you is strong, then a straight dismissal is out of the question. Depending on the facts, completion of a theft class (usually an 8 hour class) can get the case dismissed after submitting proof of completion. Not all courts and DAs will agree to this type of disposition. Pre-trial diversion requires an application, supporting documents, and approval by the DA. If approved you would be on pre-trial diversion (like probation) for about a year; pre-trial diversion requires a contract and is eligible for expungement two years after completion. Deferred Adjudication is also an option and can be sealed once completed; the time on deferred adjudication probation is about a year. Your attorney should have an idea which one of these options is best after the first setting and reviewing the file. What you don't want is a conviction as theft is crime of moral turpitude. Best of luck! M. Irene Wilson

My answer is for informational purposes.

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Posted

In Harris County, you could easily resolve a case in 1 or 2 settings once you have hired a lawyer if you do as requested. You are eligible for pretrial diversion as a first offender. Whether you could get it depends on what you are doing with your life - work, school, volunteer, etc. This would be the best outcome (other than a dismissal). (They are not just given out but they are attainable. I have gotten over 20 granted in the past year.) At the very worst you want to get a deferred adjudication probation.

Don't hire a lawyer who mails you a letter soliciting your business. If they have to solicit, then they do not have a sufficiently good reputation to sustain their business - not a good sign. And, they are likely to reset you repeatedly and charge you per reset (and then force you to plead guilty at the end.)

Although I have answered the question to try to help you, you should consult with a lawyer in your area in person on the matter. In addition, my answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us.

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