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What are my father in law's options, having recently been arrested and bonded out for felony theft of over $1500?

Dallas, TX |

He worked for a telecommute type company who layed him off a few months ago. The company had a remote system that enabled him to clock in and out for work. After being layed off, he was still being sent checks for clocking in and out. Whether he knew he was unemployed or not is a mystery to me but the company has filed charges againsed him and he was arrested.
He offered the company to repay the money to have the charges dropped but they won't budge and now he awaits a court date, unable to afford an attorney.
He even has trouble finding a job now with a theft charge.
I honestly think it could have been prevented, had the company simply kept track of the time better and locked him out of the system. Not even sure what kind of termination notice he received.

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Are you certain that he is experiencing trouble finding a job as a result of the theft charge? Normally, it is convictions that create the problems, not charges.

More importantly, I suggest that he consult with employment attorney ASAP. If he was not appropriately notified of his termination, he may not be in the wrong at all, nor responsible for paying the company back.

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Asker

Posted

Ok, I recently communicated with him and were no termination letters, layoff notices, or any other indication that he was not employed. They simply filed charges and he was arrested, not knowing what the crime was in the beginning. After speaking with the DA, they informed him that the charges had come from this institute. They no indication that there was ever a termination of employment. The last communication he received from this company was a request to return the issued computer after thereafter, no further funds were issued.

Asker

Posted

This will help us, I appreciate all answers and we are open to more input.

Posted

This case will be assigned to the Specialized Crime Division in Dallas County. As an employee theft, it will be taken very seriously. If he cannot afford an attorney, he can apply for one. It is fairly difficult to get a court-appointed attorney in Dallas County if you are out on bond. Through the discovery process, his attorney will obtain all of the necessary documents to determine how the State is trying to make its case. It will help if he will be prepared to pay restitution in full. This sometimes aids in getting a reduction or dismissal, depending on the underlying facts of the case. Most of us do not charge for consultations. Before he assumes he cannot afford an attorney to represent him in this matter, he should consider having a few consultations to find out about fees and payment plans.

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 www.macyjaggers.com for more information about her services and recent victories.

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Posted

If he was working during the time period that he was being paid, then he was not stealing from them and it can be argued there was a miscommunication on whether or not he was still employed - but, the company got the benefit of the work they paid for. He needs to gather any proof he has that he was working.

If he is indigent - no property to sell and no income, he qualifies for a court appointed lawyer. He will need to bring proof of his financial status - bank records, etc., as well as proof he is looking daily for a job.

Cynthia Henley
713-222-1220

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Posted

He should apply for a court appointed attorney or make payment arrangements with a good criminal attorney. Either set the case for trial and hope the witnesses do not show up or try to get a deferred adjudication in your plea offer so at least it isn't a conviction. good luck.

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Posted

If he knowingly cashed the checks which were the result of a mistake by his old employer then the state has enough to prosecute the case. With restitution paid, I believe a deferred adjudication on a misdemeanor would be a favorable result depending on his criminal history.

Law Office of David D. White, PLLC
1205 Rio Grande St.
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 369-3737

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

I think he's got a DWI dating back in 1999 but that is it. After speaking with him and clarifying, he was never informed of his termination or for being laid off. He did however receive a letter, requesting the return of company assets such as the computer. Once he received the letter, that was his only indication. The DA told him that the theft was in the form of money; clocking in and out. For all he knew, he was still employed and simply waiting on new assignments. I hired an attorney for him and after his explanation, they said it could be treated as a miscommunication and it should not be a problem. They said they see this sort of thing all the time.

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