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If someone is charged with welfare fraud could the prosecuter reduce it to a misdameanor instead of a felony?

Dallas, TX |
Filed under: Criminal charges

No past criminal history at all. If some agrees to do community service and make payments of restitution because they dont have all of the money to pay back. Could they do community service to pay off some of the restitution as well?

Attorney Answers 3


Yes. Prosecutors have a great deal of discretion and they can reduce your case to a misdemeanor, even dismiss it, depending on the facts. In these kinds of cases, prosecutors are usually more concerned about getting the State paid back than actually trying one of these cases. I suggest that you hire a good lawyer, or ask for one to be appointed if you cannot afford one, and let him or her talk to the prosecutor about dismissing or reducing the case. Honestly, in my experience, most prosecutors are not going to consider just community service. They will want restitution. That does not mean that they won't consider reducing the case to a misdemeanor (depending on the facts), placing you on probation (make sure you ask for deferred adjudication), and allowing you to pay back what you owe (if you do) over time as well as doing community service. Being more interested in restitution, they will likely go easy on the fine. The best answer is not to do anything without getting a lawyer first. Good luck.

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Absolutely not in Dallas County. The collections department may qualify you to pay off some of the fines and court costs through community service but not restitution. And the only way you would get a misdemeanor reduction is by paying the restitution in full upfront. And even then it's only a maybe.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.

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Does the court order you to pay full restitution while on probation or a certain amount and then continue once off probation.

Macy Michelle Jaggers

Macy Michelle Jaggers


A person will not be discharged from probation until the restitution is paid in full.


The mystery that surrounds criiminal defense practice and baffles many defendants is that there are absolutely no guarantees about what will happen.

I've been at this a long time, and have more than once seen a prosecutor vary from a policy for which there are "no exceptions".

However, Ms. Jaggers practices in Dallas. Why don't you simply make an appointment to meet with her.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

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