What If I just pay the fine?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What If I just pay the fine?

I have been issued a class C citation
shoplifting in Misssouri City, TX for items
under 150 and already have been set up a
court date. If I were to just pay my fine, I
understand that would equal to a ‘Guilty’
plea and admission of guilt.

What are the consequences of just paying the
fine besides this? More or less, around how
much am I looking to pay?

Asked on September 2, 2016 under Criminal Law, Texas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you enter a plea of guilty and take a strait up conviction, then this will be considered a theft conviction on your record.  This means that you will not be able to serve on a jury.  It also means that some employers will not hire you because you have a theft conviction and thus represent a security risk to their business.  If you are young and receiving certain scholarship programs, then some scholarships will disqualify you from any future awards.  If you are not in the country legally, then immigration could (even though not likely on it's own), apply for a change in your status including deportation.  If you hold any professional licenses, then the licensing agency could also suspend, revoke, or limit your license after a theft conviction.
Bottom line... there are many potential negative effects of a theft charge.  This does not, however, mean that you have to put on a full scale 'fight.'  You may be able to negotiation with the municipal prosecutor a plea of 'no contest' to a deferred or pre-trial diversion which could eventially result in a dismissal or expunction of the charges.  If you are not sure about the effect of any new offers made by the prosecutor, then consider arranging for at least a consultation with a criminal defense attorney to make sure that you understand all of the options and limitations of other plea offers.

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.

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