If I have a misdemeanor Class B for shoplifting and have a court date coming up, what might happen?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I have a misdemeanor Class B for shoplifting and have a court date coming up, what might happen?

I served 15 days already in jail before I was bonded out. I have no priors.

Asked on April 17, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If this is your first time going to court, they will probably do a mini-arraignment to make sure you understand the nature of your charges.  The judge will inquire how you wish to plea.  They will usually enter a plea of not-guilty on your behalf.  The judge will also ask how you would like to handle this case.  If you are thinking about hiring an attorney, you need to tell the judge that you are working on hiring an attorney and would like a "reset" so that you can finish hiring one.  If you cannot afford one, then this is your time to ask the court for a court-appointed attorney.  The judge may ask if you want to talk to the prosecutor-- which you can, without an attorney.  If you do, keep in mind that anything you say can, and most likely will, be used agaisnt you later.  If you have no other history, they will probably offer you some type of deferred sentence.  They may also see that you served 15 days and offer you "time served."  This means that they will sentence you to 15 days in the county jail, but not require you to go back in because you have already done the 15 day sentence.  All you will have left is to pay your restitution (if any), court costs, and fine.  This seems more convenient than being on probation, but keep in mind, once the final conviction is entered, it will be considered a final theft conviction.  You loose several valuable rights with a theft conviction, like the right to serve on a jury (regardless of how old the conviction).  You may want to just listen to what the prosecutor has to say (emphasis on listen), then take the information you obtain and at least visit with an attorney before you go back to finalize anything.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption