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What can I expect if I go to court 8 years after I committed petty theft?

Austin, TX |

Hi,
I committed petty theft 8 years ago (I was 12 years old), however, I didn't show up to court because I didn't have the money to pay for the fine and because the only person that could take me was always at work, my mom. I am now 20 years old and studying at The University of Texas, I'm also realizing that the only way to enter the professional world is to go back and take responsibility for my previous actions. I now have a warrant for not showing up at court, which apparently I was supposed to in 2010, however, I never received a citation for this. I want to know what to expect when I try to fix this by showing up to court? Also, how do I proceed with this case. I'm concerned about being incarcerated because I don't want to lose a semester (tuition) for not showing up to class.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

An attorney can probably post an attorney bond on it to lift the warrant. This is not going to be as expensive and complicated as you think. Hire a ticket attorney who practices in the county where the offense occurred. They will start fixing it from there. There are several ways to get the case dismissed and off your record. You just need to turn this over to someone who knows what they're doing.

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.

Posted

I agree with Ms. Jaggers and would add to it: please do not pay the fine, plead no contest or plead guilty without consulting an attorney. There are a number of issues in your case that may result in a competent attorney being able to get the charge dismissed. If an attorney cannot get dismissed, perhaps they can resolve the case in such a way that you will not have a criminal conviction for theft. Theft is a crime of moral turpitude, and a conviction for it can have far-reaching, long-lasting consequences. Protect your future.

Katherine Shipman's response to your question is for general information purposes only. Nothing in this response should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Hi, I'm a little confused. I called the court today and asked them for an appointment to see the judge, however, the person who answered said that I don't have to show up to court because I'm no longer a minor. She said that I have to pay the fine and the warrant would be taken off, but that the theft charge would stay. Is there any way I can still ask for a court date and attempt to get the theft charges dismissed after these 8 years of not showing up to court?

Katherine Ellen Shipman

Katherine Ellen Shipman

Posted

Yes, there is. You can post a bond (or, if you hire an attorney your attorney can post what Ms. Jagger described as an attorney bond) in order to have your case taken out of warrant status and placed back on docket. I agree that you were a minor when this happened, but your record as a minor isn't automatically wiped clean on your 18th birthday. Consult with an attorney. Many "ticket attorneys" charge very reasonable fees, and you might be surprised how painless they can make this process for you.

Posted

I agree with the above statements. You should consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney in your area as soon as possible. Contact your local Bar Association for a list of attorneys who specialize in this area of the law.

This answer is meant for information purposes only. No attorney-client relationship has been established between the Avvo user and Cesar Garcia.

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