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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26854
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I got a class c misdemeanor ticket and pled no contest for

Resolved Question:

I got a class c misdemeanor ticket and pled no contest for theft under $50. this is the only thing I have ever done, and am totally ahamed. i have a degree and am looking for a job. there was no arest, no jail time, no meting with a judge. Just a fine which i paid online. will this hurt me in looking for a job?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

Unfortunately, you pled to a misdemeanor, and that does constitute a conviction, even though you pled "no contest." The conviction will turn up in a background check. As you can imagine, a theft conviction -- even on a misdemeanor level -- is one that prospective employers may find harder to disregard than another type of offense. You can expect it to cause potential problems.

It also does not appear that your conviction can be expunged under Texas law. (See link to your state's expungement rules). So this will remain on your record. You can, however, apply to the governor for a pardon. That won't remove the conviction but it will at least display as "Pardoned," which would be official forgiveness from the state and evidence to possible employers that you have turned your life around. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles screen applications for the governor. You will find forms and instructions here.

Had you chosen to get a lawyer and not mail in a plea to a misdemeanor, you would have been eligible for a deferred adjudication which would have kept your record clean. You chose to do something short term convenient, without recognizing that there could be long term consequences to what you did. It's very, very difficult to take back a plea once you've entered one. But if you're concerned about your record, it would pay you to have a consultation with a Texas criminal lawyer and see whether there is any way this can still be appealed on the basis that you had no legal advice when you chose to pay a fine and didn't realize that you shouldn't treat a misdemeanor like it was a parking ticket.

If you want an inexpensive one-shot half hour consultation with a local criminal lawyer you can contact the Lawyer Referral Service of the the Texas State Bar Association. They keep the cost of the consultation low, and there would be no obligation to hire the attorney once you've spoken to him. They also guarantee that you'll be referred to an active member of the Texas Bar in good standing.

Good Luck!


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This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
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