Lucas was looking for a new flash drive at a large electronics store in Dallas County
. He took his flash drive in with him, because he wanted to make sure to buy the same kind. He did not find the kind he wanted but purchased some other items and left the store. As Lucas walked out, he was detained by store security, who accused him of stealing his own flash drive. Although he asked them repeatedly to put the flash drive into a computer so they could see his files on it, they refused to do so. Lucas was arrested and charged with a criminal case
of misdemeanor theft. The store kept his flash drive to return it to their stock. It was not retained as evidence. The video evidence showed Lucas walking around the store looking at merchandise, but it didn't show him stealing anything. Lucas maintained his innocence, and I set his case for trial. He was found Not Guilty
Martha attempted to steal some items from a local retailer and was charged with misdemeanor theft. Because she had never been arrested before, the DA agreed to dismiss her criminal case
if she attended an anti-theft class and performed some community service hours. Her case was dismissed in less than sixty days
Walker was charged with felony
theft in Dallas County
after passing thousands of dollars worth of hot checks. I worked out an agreement with the District Attorney that he would pay off the checks and his criminal case
would be dismissed. It took him over a year, but the case was finally dismissed
without Walker ever being placed on probation.
Jennifer was shopping at a discount store with her friend when the friend convinced her to place a pair of pajama pants in her purse. The friend put several other items in her baby stroller and the two were apprehended trying to leave the store. Jennifer was arrested and charged for the full value of all the items, which was a Class B misdemeanor. (The pants she had attempted to steal were on sale for $20.) The District Attorney agreed to reduce Jennifer's case to a Class C
theft ticket and give her a 90-day deferred disposition. At the end of that ninety days, her Class C case was then dismissed
Julia was arrested on a misdemeanor theft
charge out of Dallas County
. When she hired me, she had no idea what she was being accused of stealing. I investigated the case and found out that the alleged theft occurred ten years earlier. I immediately filed a Motion to Dismiss and set the matter for a hearing. Julia's Constitutional right to a Speedy Trial had been violated. At the hearing the DA could produce no evidence to justify the egregious delay in prosecution, and the judge agreed with me. Julia's case was dismissed
and she will be able to expunge
the case from her record completely.
Jeff is a contractor who cancelled a check to a subcontractor after she failed to appear at the job site. Jeff had to hire another subcontractor to do the job. The subcontractor turned the returned check
over to the Dallas County DA.
Of course, the subcontractor failed to mention that she never performed the service she was hired to perform. More than three years later, Jeff was pulled over
on his was to work one morning. The officer informed him that he had an outstanding warrant
for a felony theft case.
Luckily, the officer did not arrest
him. Jeff quickly hired me. I took him before the District Judge,
and she granted him a PR bond
so that he did not have to put any money up to lift the warrant. The Judge gave us a date to return to Court, and on that date I filed a Motion to Dismiss
based on the fact that Jeff's Constitutional right
to a Speedy Trial
had been violated. Ironically, by the time the hearing actually took place, several more months had passed; and it had been nearly four years since Jeff wrote the check in question. The Supreme Court
has held that it becomes increasingly difficult for people to find the evidence
they need to defend
themselves when the State takes a long time to prosecute
them. There was certainly no way for Jeff to know during those three years that he needed to be saving exculpatory evidence.
After reviewing the case law
and both parties' legal briefs
, the Judge granted
my Motion to Dismiss. When Glenda hired me on her two theft cases , she was already on probation for two felony theft cases. She had a total of seven prior theft convictions that I could locate. Glenda was facing two years in the State Jail on her probation violations and up to 10 years in prison on the new theft charges. I started work on her cases hoping to get one short State Jail sentence on all 4 open cases. Glenda notified her probation officer of her new arrest as required. When I first interviewed Glenda, I learned that she had a long-diagnosed mental health issue that was not being treated. She took my advice and returned to her former treatment provider where she resumed counseling and a recommended medication program. Glenda also enrolled herself in a repeat offender anti-theft class. After providing her probation officer with proof of the steps she had taken, her PO agreed to modify her probation rather than violate her. As luck would have it, the Collin County DA's office filed Glenda's new theft cases as misdemeanors. I obtained and reviewed all of the evidence in her cases. When Glenda and I agreed that the cases were strong for the State, we quickly and quietly pled her to misdemeanor probation. We did not want to risk drawing any attention to her new cases that could potentially cause them to be indicted as felonies.Jeanette was back-to-school shopping with her children when, feeling desperate and overwhelmed, she made the terrible decision to try to shoplift some clothing she couldn't afford. Jeanette was quickly detained by loss prevention, who called the police in to arrest her for misdemeanor theft. Needless to say, being arrested in front of her children was a low point for Jeanette. Upon her release from jail, she immediately started seeing a therapist and, at my suggestion, took an anti-theft class. Unfortunately Jeanette did not qualify for the DA's pretrial diversion program, because of a DWI she received in college (15 years earlier). However, by presenting the evidence of her hard work to address the problem and because of her acceptance of responsibility, I was able to convince the DA to reduce Jeanette's charge to a Class C theft. That Class C case will be dismissed at the end of a 90-day deferred period. And ultimately, Jeanette will be eligible to expunge the entire matter from her record.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.