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What kind of penalty will be given when goin to court for a theft charge of $54 with no other criminal back ground?

Beeville, TX |

Served a night in jail & waiting to go to court. Have never been in trouble with the law first time ever being in jail & would not want to go back ever. Only thing ever recieved our tickets for registration nothing else. Would the outcome more than likely be jail time or a fine?

Attorney Answers 3


Theft of goods or services over $50 is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas which means you may face a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 180 days. If you are a first-offender, more than likely you will be eligible to receive community supervision. If so, you'll just have to pay a fine and abide by the terms and conditions of your probation. However, since this is your first serious offense, I would hire a criminal defense attorney to help defend you to ensure you receive the best possible outcome available to you. You don't want a theft conviction to go on your permanent criminal record.

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You are facing 180 days in jail and a 2000.00 fine. That is the least of you worries. You cannot just take time for the offense because it will be on your record forever. Most employers will not just ignore a theft case on your record. An experienced criminal defense attorney in your area can guide you to get the best outcome possible. The county court might have a pre-trial diversion available to allow you to have the case dismissed after completing what is essentially a very strict probation. Your fist step should be to shop around for an attorney that can help you. Most criminal defense attorneys offer free consultations. Good luck.

Legal disclaimer: My answers are only intended as general legal advice based on my experience. They are not intended to be a binding legal opinion nor to create an attorney-client relationship.

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I agree with the attorney who mentioned the problems you would face when job hunting with a theft charge on your record. The reasoning behind this is that theft is known as a crime of moral turpitude - meaning it is contrary to community standards of honesty and justice. It can affect your ability to gain employment, be insured, serve in the armed forces and a whole host of other areas of life. However, by hiring an attorney, you may be able to have the case reduced to a Class C misdemeanor or even have the case dismissed depending on the particular facts. Best of luck.

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