What Should You Do If You Get Charged With Theft?
– SY, Texas
What you shouldn’t do is take a plea that results in a conviction. What you should do is hire a lawyer because if it’s your first offense, you have a good chance of having your case dismissed.
I’ve even had clients get a letter from the person or company that you allegedly stole from asking the court for leniency.
And don’t make any payments to them without consulting an attorney first. You might be admitting responsibility on your criminal case. If you have already been charged, you can always pay later.
It is a separate crime to either offer not to file charges in exchange for money or to ask that charges be dismissed in exchange for money. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a better resolution to your case if you pay damages, but that should always go through your attorney.
You also may not be criminally responsible. Some people and companies try to use criminal charges in matters that are not really criminal. You are more likely to pay if you think you could be going to jail than if you think someone could put a lien on your house.
This answer does not constitute legal advice, which can only be rendered after a full consideration of the facts of your case which is not possible in this format; nor establish an attorney-client relationship, which can only be done after you and an attorney meet and agree on the terms of that relationship. This answer is intended solely to provide general information about the justice system. Further, it does not provide the basis for making decisions about a course of action. Before making any decisions about a course of action readers are strongly encouraged to contact a lawyer and secure an attorney-client relationship. Readers must also understand that this format does not provide for confidential communication. Moreover, links to information on this site are for your convenience only and are not an endorsement or recommendation of those sites, and no responsibility is taken for any information at these linked sites, nor makes any representation or warranty with respect to these sites or the information contained therein.