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I have a warrant out for my arrest for food stamp fraud. The amount is $3,500. Can I just pay this amount and be done?

Conroe, TX |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I applied for food stamps in June, 2007. On the appointment letter I selected a phone interview, in case I begin work. I begin training for a job on Aug 8th. My case worker was supposed to call me at 10:00 am on Aug 10th. She did not call, and I had taken a break at 10 to speak with her. By 10:15, I called her. My break was for only 15 mins. She then told me to be patient and she would call me back. Although it was my 2nd day training, I did as she instructed. She called back about 15 mins later, and went through the interview quickly. She had gotten behind, and I was late as well. Here's were my problem is....Some things got skipped over. She asked me if I had gotten paid yet, and I said no. I assumed she would back date it to the date I applied. I now have to go to court.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I would advise you that anything you post to the internet is not confidential and could be used against you in your case.....

    The amount of bond set on your warrant has nothing to do with an amount that you can pay to settle the case. It is the amount that a judge has set for you to secure your release prior to trial. Several Texas jurisdictions offer what is called a personal bond. Basically, as long as you have no serious criminal record and have references who will verify your address and that you will make it to court, your promise to appear is enough to secure your release. Other options include posting the entire $3,500 (known as a cash bond). The county holds this money until your case is resolved, less a small administrative fee (2 or 3%; it's set by law). The problem with this bond is that you can't get to that money until your case is resolved. The final option is to get a bail bond company to act as your surety. They typically want from 10-20% of the bond amount to act as your surety and this amount is non-refundable. (Some jurisdictions allow a cash deposit bond where you post 10% of the bond amount yourself, but this is only the practice in a few counties that I know of). If you can get no bond, you will sit in jail until the case is resolved. This is usually the worst option as you are not in a position to help your lawyer secure the best result possible for you.

    A lawyer may be able to help get you a personal bond for a fee and do a process called a walk-through in which you will not have to actually be processed through the county jail. I would recommend that you speak to an attorney in Conroe or whatever county this application took place in as soon as possible. They will be able to answer your questions in greater detail and give you advice in an confidential environment.

    Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. The short answer is no, you cannot just pay the amount and be done. It is considered to be a felony fraud case. You need to contact a lawyer. At a minimum, you should consult with a lawyer to determine the steps to take in Montgomery County. Most lawyers allow a free first visit. It may be that a deal can be worked out for repayment, but my guess is that the woman who interviewed you is not going to admit that she did not conduct the full interview required by her job (or she would lose her job) and that there will be a factual dispute. Moreover, you will be ineligible to receive benefits for a period of time if you took a conviction (or a deferred adjudication) on this case. It is not a small matter.


  3. No.

    If you benefit from deceit both civil and criminal punishment is possible. Do not post any details online because of potential self incrimination problems. Get a criminal defense lawyer on your side. Your lawyer will tell you not to speak to the police. If you confess to a crime you did not commit (trust me, it happens), you will be charged.

    What you post here may be used against you. No one can say what the evidence is against you so at least remain silent and do not incriminate yourself without speaking to a lawyer.

    Read my Legal Guide "Internet Privacy - Not!" if you think it might be helpful.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/internet-privacy---not

    You need a lawyer so get one. ASAP!

    Read my Legal Guide "What is the Right to Remain Silent?

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-is-the-right-to-remain-silent

    Because this matter is so important you should really get a lawyer. Many factors such as age, prosecutor discretion, what judge you have, whether witnesses are credible all matter and that makes it near impossible to say what type of time you'll do if this is a crime.

    You can miss defenses and say the wrong things if you are not represented by an advocate as your attorney.

    You might find my Legal Guide helpful "Ethics: Yes I Need a Lawyer!"

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/ethics-yes-i-need-a-lawyer

    You might find my Legal Guide helpful "How to Choose A Lawyer For You."

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-to-choose-a-lawyer-for-you

    You might read my Legal Guide "Can An Attorney Really Help?"

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/can-an-attorney-really-help

    You might find my Legal Guide helpful " What Do I Tell My Lawyer?"

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/what-do-i-tell-my-lawyer

    Online we cannot know what the other details are going on in your case because online we cannot find out those details. You need a lawyer. Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

    Good luck to you.

    God bless.

    NOTE: This observation is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. This observation is not like a communication with a lawyer with whom you have an attorney-client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides.

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