Legal Question in Criminal Law in Texas

I was arrested for shoplifting at Walmart. A class B misdemeanor they say 50-500. I spent a night in jail than bond out for 165. Upon release they atated that i would have a court date. Walnart sent me a settlement offer letter offering to settle for 200. If I pay this fine will this be the end of everything? Will I still have a court date and pay a fine with the courts? Can I get my record expunged?

Asked on 9/12/11, 11:38 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Mark Dunn Mark D. Dunn

Only the DA can "settle" a criminal case. If Wal-Mart is offering to drop the case in exchange for you giving them money, that's dirty.

Turn this letter over to the DA.

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Answered on 9/12/11, 12:06 pm

Robert Tuthill Law Office of Robert H. Tuthill

The Walmart letter is a civil demand and has nothing to do with the criminal case. If you pay walmart the money, you will still have to go to court and deal with the criminal case. I normally tell people to ignore those letters.

The only way to have your record expunged is if the case is dismissed or if you are found "not guilty" at trial. I suggest you hire an attorney to assist you with this case.

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Answered on 9/12/11, 12:08 pm
Ken Gober (Austin TX) Lee, Gober & Reyna

Mr. Tuthill is exactly right.

The Wal-Mart demand letter is well known by Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers (often the letter comes from a Florida law firm), it is only related to a civil matter. It is believed by the defense bar that these demand letters are based on an erroneous reading (stretching) of Texas law.

You need to retain a lawyer, if you can't afford a lawyer you need to apply for a court appointed lawyer.

Good Luck!

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Answered on 9/12/11, 12:41 pm

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