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Standard punishment for 1st time theft by check

Hillsboro, TX |

On 1/22/09, we closed our checking account and were told to contact businesses, where any checks may still be out and pick them up. We thought we had done all of this and it was complete until I applied for a job and they did a background investigation report. This was 12/7/09. It came back that I had a case filed 7/24/09 for theft by check +/= to $20 but - than $500 and a warrant issued on 8/4/09. This was the first we had heard of this. When I called the courthouse, they said it was a Class A misdemeanor and that I had to come and turn myself in and that I would be arrested, that I couldn't just come in and take care of it. I have never been in any kind of trouble before, not even a ticket. I just want to know what to expect and how to defend myself. I don't want to lose my job.

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Attorney answers 1


You can't just pay a fine on this offense, because it carries the possibility of jail time. A Class A theft charge carries up to one year in county jail or up to 2 years of probation and a fine of $4,000. That being said, it sounds like you may have a defense to this charge because you lacked the proper intent (and may have done a sufficient amount of due diligence to insure that no checks went unpaid).

You should contact a criminal defense attorney who practices in the county you are charged. He or she will be able to explain whether or not they can do what is known as a walk-through where a personal bond is approved beforehand and you walk-through the jail instead of sitting for up to 24 hours. If the attorney tells you that a personal bond is not available, then you can either post the full amount of the bond or hire a bail bondsman to do a walk-through on a surety bond.

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