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23 yrs, first conviction of shoplifting for amount $ 275, class B, i was bonded out, my court date is this week what do i expect

Houston, TX |

This is my first offense ever, should i expect a fine, jail time or what? Do i need to hire an attorney and what kind. I want this to go off my record since I am a student, and hopeful this wont jepordize my future. What normally happens in this case?

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Attorney answers 3


You should definitely hire a lawyer. If the lawyer determines that the State can prove their case, then the lawyer may be able to work out a deal for pre-trial diversion - where you are on what is like a probation, but after the year contract is over, the case is dismissed. Once the statute of limitations runs, you can expunge (clear) your record. If that does not work out, then the lawyer should be able to work out the case for deferred adjudication probation - where you are not found guilty but placed on probation. This type of probation can later be "sealed" from the view of many (but not all).

You should hire someone from Harris County who handles criminal cases. Do not hire a civil lawyer who is working criminal cases because civil cases are down. Ask the lawyer what type of cases s/he works on the majority of the time.


You need to hire a criminal defense attorney to keep this "crime of moral turpitude" from becoming a conviction. Do not try to handle this without a competent criminal defense attorney.


Based on what you have written, you really need to get a local law firm to assist you with protecting your rights and interests. Theft cases are crimes of "moral turpitude" and can have significant impacts on your future. There are many factors which are considered with theft cases (e.g. value of the item, method used in committing the act, age of the defendant, etc.). The state has to prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Things to think about are - (i) did you make any statements (verbal or written) to anyone regarding this allegation, where did you get stopped, who stopped you, what was said by the person stopping you, is there a video and what is the quality of the video, etc. Should you desire to more fully discuss these options and aspects with your case, contact us.

The above response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an on-going duty to respond to questions. Additionally, the response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than an educated opinion. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.