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What are possible consequences for food stamp/welfare fraud under Texas criminal code

El Paso, TX |

I was charged with food stamp fraud in the amount of about 13,500. I was seperated with my husband of and on for about three years. I did not report that we were trying to make it work becouse of medical reasons he stayed with us. I only have a traffic ticket on my record. What kind of punish ment am i lookin at? Is a public defender beter than a private what is your opinion.

Attorney Answers 1


A public defender, if there is one in your county, is like everything else. There are excellent public defenders and there are medicore ones. Nevertheless, every attorney takes an oath to represent their client to the best of their abilities. A private attorney will be able to take more time with you and probably has a lot less cases to deal with then a public defender. However, do your research because hiring an inexperienced private attorney would be worse then hiring a competent public defender. A private attorney should go over things in a way that you understand, be prepared to go trial if needed, and give you sound legal advice pertaining to your case.

Please keep in mind that you are presumed to be innocent. It is up to the state to prove their case against you.
An attorney can not predict what will happen in your case. While the range of punishment for this type of felony is from 6 months to two years in a state jail and a fine up to $10,000 it is uncommon for a first offender to get jail time. In Houston, Harris County, Texas where I practice law a first time offender like your yourself would at worst be looking at a type of probation called deferred adjudication. The benefit of a deferred adjudication is that you get a conviction and you can eventually apply for a motion for non disclosure if you complete it without being violated. The negatives is that you plea guilty and if you violate one of your terms you are facing the range of punishment mentioned above.

Good luck to you.

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