The Law Offices of Gary Churak P.C.

San Antonio

14310 Northbrook Drive #210
San Antonio, Texas 78232
San Antonio TX Criminal Defense Attorney

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Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions and Video Answers

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The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the severity of the criminal offense. Misdemeanors start at the lowest level, such as class C misdemeanor, which would be a traffic ticket or a minor possession of alcohol, an offense which is punishable by fine only. Then you have class B and A misdemeanors, in which the penalty is jail time in the county jail and fines. Felony charges are more serious. In a felony conviction, you can potentially be sent to the Texas Department of Corrections prison. There are multiple grades of felonies. The lowest is state jail felony with a maximum of 2 years in the state jail. There is a third-degree felony, which carries a sentence of 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) prison and a second-degree felony, which can be 2 to 10 in prison. A first-degree felony can entail a sentence of 5 to 99 years to life. In addition, you have a capital felony or capital offense, which carries a life sentence or the death penalty.

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Under Texas law, there are basically two ways theft can be expunged. The first one is you get what’s called “pretrial diversion”. It’s a specialized type of probation that allows you to have your case expunged at the conclusion of the period of pretrial diversion. In Bexar County, they have very strict guidelines on pretrial diversion, and they’re available to anyone under the age of 21. The other option for expunction is you get your case outright dismissed or you’re found not guilty. That also, under Texas law, allows you to do an expunction. You can do what is called a “nondisclosure” if you received deferred adjudication probation. A nondisclosure is not and as effective as an expunction in that it seals the case to the private sector, but government entities and licensing agencies will still find out about it; whereas an expunction is a complete sealing to both the public and private sectors.

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Under Texas law an indictment is the formal criminal charge of felony against a defendant. What happens is a grand jury, which is comprised of a group of citizens, will convene and hear a brief presentation by the district attorney, and the district attorney will ask for a true-bill of indictment. An indictment doesn’t mean you’re guilty. Basically what it means is that there is probable cause, there is a possibility this criminal case happened, and it should be moved to the court system. When someone is no-billed by the grand jury that basically means that there is no evidence whatsoever to support a charge against them.

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What will happen if the Risk Manager in the store or a manager would come up to you, and tap on you on the shoulder, and say, “Follow me,” and they’ll take you a little room in the back of the store, and they’ll basically begin questioning you about what you took and how you took it? Most times, they actually have you on videos taking the item. At that point in time, they will decide what they want to do with you. Some stores, if the amount is minimal and they really don’t want to deal with the police, will just let you go and tell you don’t ever come back. A lot of stores will basically call the local police department. They will come down and depending on the amount of the items taken will either issue a citation if it’s under $50 to appear in a municipal or JP court; or if it’s over $50, they have two options. They can either put you in handcuffs and take you down to the county jail, or they can issue you a citation to appear in county court at law or county court in a later date. At that point in time, you have a serious problem. You have been arrested for theft which is considered a crime of moral turpitude and could have tremendous effects on your ability to earn a living, get an apartment, and basically live a life.

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Criminal Defense Attorney In San Antonio

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Theft is a crime of moral turpitude, a very serious offense. It basically can prohibit you from getting decent paying jobs, renting apartments, getting loans, or even opening a bank account.
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