What to do if I just got a citations for theft under $50?

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What to do if I just got a citations for theft under $50?

I have know clue what I need to do. I this is my first run in with the law and I dont want it to ruin my life.

Asked on May 23, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

First, you need to make sure that you stay in touch with the court where your case is going to be filed.  It will be one of the JP's in your area since this is a first offense under $50.00.  You want to stay up with the court because you do not accidentally want to miss a court date, thereby causing a warrant to be issued for your failure to appear.

Second, you should look into getting a criminal defense attorney.  This is just a misdemeanor.  You're not looking at serious jail time, but it can have an impact on your life down the road.  Some employers frown on applicants who have been convicted of a theft offense.  Theft is considered a crime of moral turpitude-- which means that you would not be able to serve on a jury if convicted.  If you're an otherwise good person, a theft can negatively impact your life.... so you want a defense attorney that can work a deal for some type of direct or conditional dismissal.  It will cost you some funds, but it will save a tremendous amount of headache on the backend.  If you simply cannot afford an attorney, see if the court will appoint one for you. 


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