In Travis County some offenses, like Theft, qualify for a "cite and release" rather than arrest. Years ago, any offense that was a Class B Misdemeanor or more serious typically ended with the accused going to jail. Now, a police officer has the choice to either take the person to jail, or issue a "cite and release" ticket.
Make No Mistake! Theft Cite and Release Tickets are not just tickets! The fact the officer let you go with just a ticket changes nothing except bond. Traditionally, bond was set while in jail, and a Judge could later release on a Personal Bond.). With a Cite and Release, the decision to release on a PR Bond is made by the officer, and later agreed to by the Judge. But you still need to take care of the case itself.
In fact, if a person disregards the ticket and ignores it, the prosecutors can file a Bail Jumping warrant and new case, which is a Class A Misdemeanor -- in addition to the Theft case.
At the bottom of the Theft "cite and release" ticket will be a date and court. Typically Justice of the Peace #5 in Travis County. That is the date where the Judge will "agree to" and formalize the officer's decision to release on a PR Bond. You can expect to sit at the courthouse and bonding desk for several hours, during which the sheriff's deputy's will verify your information, take mugshots, and complete the booking fingerprints. You'll then be released with a new court date.
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
Theft Cite and Release tickets rarely end with jail, so an Attorney's involvement with bond or jail release is not common. But, if the first court date is missed, or if a warrant gets issued, an Attorney can help get a Personal Bond. This will require hiring the attorney for both the jail release and representation on the case itself; although typically the jail release fee is the deposit for representation.
Sometimes an officer will file an arrest warrant for Theft Cite and Release, which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an active Travis County Arrest Warrant for Theft Cite and Release.
Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
The Cite and Release really only changes how the case is handled at the beginning -- after which the case proceeds as a normal theft case. For more information, read about Shoplifting and Theft.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Theft Cite and Release cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Goals vary, depending on a person's charge, criminal history, and other factors, but ideally, the goal should be a dismissal for any Theft Cite and Release charge. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Keates Law Firm has a track record of dismissals for Theft cases. Many Theft Cite and Release cases result in negotiated dismissals, where there's usually a trade-off of community service and a class in exchange for a dismissal -- but not always. The main hurdle is convincing the prosecutor to agree to dismiss the case, and Keates Law Firm has experience in Austin's Travis County courts doing just that.
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