What to do if I have a court date soon for a misdemeanor theft by check under $500 and don’t have an attorney.

I wrote 2 checks and apparently I used my old checks from an old checking account. However, they are from the same bank just different account numbers. This was a careless mistake on my part; I’ve never been arrested or have I ever committed any type of crimes. I posted a $500 cash bank on myself. I haven’t paid the restitution as I was told I could pay that on before my 2nd court date. Does it help if I get this paid off before my 1st court date and possibly get it dismissed? How should I plea and what should I expect?

Asked on July 7, 2016 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It will help you if you pay the restitution sooner than later because it shows that you really are trying to remedy the situation.  Often, if you can pay it off sooner, then the prosecutor may dismiss the fee for the payment of a hot check fee. 
For your first court date, expect this to be a preliminary hearing.  This is where you learn more about the allegations and what they might offer you.  The judge will also want to know you want to plea.  You can enter a plea of not guilty for the purposes of this hearing.  You can visit with a prosecutor... but don't say more than you have to .... other than that you have remedied the situation. 

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