Arrested for Theft: What to Expect

By Allen, Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Kyle T. Therrian
Office Number: (972) 562-7549
24 Hr Jail Release: (214) 403-6522

In 2011 there were 2,663 active Misdemeanor Theft cases in Collin County. A good portion of these cases involved average folks seeking to vindicate themselves or avoid long-term consequences of an isolated lapse of judgment. For many of these people, having no idea what to expect from the legal process can be a considerable source of stress and anxiety. A one-on-one discussion with an attorney is, by far, the best way to get answers to the questions you have and even the ones you don’t know to ask. Until that opportunity arises, this article provides a general outline and starting point for understanding what is coming down the road.


First off, if a friend or a loved one is being held without a bond at the time of reading this article, an attorney can help you immediately by filing an attorney writ bond (MORE INFO). In all other cases, where bond has been posted, your release has been secured by a contract with the Court. The three common characteristics of all bonds include: (1) a pledge of money, (2) a promise to appear during scheduled court dates, and (3) an implied promise to commit no new offenses while released. Bond can be posted in cash or through a surety (a bondsman). When posted in cash, the bond is 95% reimbursable when the case is concluded. When posted by a surety, there is no reimbursement and usually additional obligations owed to the bondsman (such as reporting).

Court Appearances

A case is initiated by the filing of an “information” and the setting of a first appearance. Notice of both will be sent to the address listed by the Collin County Jail during the book-in process. The first appearance is usually followed by the setting of several subsequent appearances. The purpose of these appearances is to gather information and discuss a resolution of the case with a prosecutor. A general court appearance is also called an “announcement,” and perhaps better described as an administrative date.

Case Resolution

“How will the case be resolved?” The answer to this question depends on so many circumstances it cannot be fairly addressed by a simple article. Outcomes range from serving a jail sentence to walking away completely unscathed. For perspective, only about 25% of Misdemeanor Theft cases in Collin County resulted in jail sentences, and many of those involved people who actually preferred a jail sentence or who violated a term of their probation. Of the 75% of remaining cases, most were resolved by some form of probation with the remaining resolved by trial or dismissal. For those willing to forgo the option of trial, forms of probation which prevent permanent record implications are frequently available.

Needless to say, the variety of consequences stemming from the decision of how to resolve the case underlines the importance of advice and representation of counsel.

*Kyle Therrian is an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice on any case you should contact an attorney directly.

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