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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27109
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was arrested on 5/12 the last day of my honeymoon cruise

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I was arrested on 5/12 the last day of my honeymoon cruise in New Orleans for a warrant out of Texas. ($2000 bond - Sec Exec Doc Dec 1500 -20k). Texas advised Harbor Police they wanted to extradite; they took me to New Orleans Parish Prison to wait for Texas. I went to court on the 12th and the New Orleans Judge raised my bond to $30,000 (for fraud). I finally went back to court on the 15th to sign extradition papers and Texas was finally contacted. The conditions and treatment were inhumane. Transportation agents arrived on the 19th and I was back in Texas on 5/22; shortly released on a Pre-trial bond for $60. I have no prior arrests/clean background.

My Attorney said that, I listed my husband on my SNAP application in 2009, 2010, 2011; since he was incarcerated; this is considered fraud. No denying that I listed him; however, I listed my husband on every document I have ever signed; I still considered him apart of our household. - My Attorney presented one option, Deferred Adjudication; paying $125.75 monthly for 48 months or $167.67 for 36 months to the over-payment & $60 for supervision fee.

I've only spoken to this appointed attorney once; for 10 minutes. I don't feel comfortable going into court (consultation) tomorrow with him representing me. I feel that hes' not doing all he can to fight this case. He's very condescending and doesn't care for going over details of my case. He didn't care about my getting arrested nor having to stay in jail for 14 days. He said that didn't matter.

My question is; should I seek a second opinion? Or is 4 yrs felony deferred adjudication my best option as a 1st time offender?

I feel like I have no voice. I already agreed with the state investigator to pay back any over payments prior to them even issuing a warrant. I just feel like more can be done.
Hello Jacustomer,

Contrary to what you think, I believe your lawyer has done a pretty good job here. You have acknowledged that you did list your husband on your SNAP application while he was incarcerated and thus, you have committed a fraud. You don't have any defense to this case. A deferred adjudication allows you to walk away from a felony charge with a clean record. All you have to do is comply with the terms of your probation and make restitution for the overpayment.

That's really as good a deal as you could expect to get on a case involving fraud against the state. Based on what you've said here, you can expect that if you go to trial on the case -- even with the local equivalent of Perry Mason, whoever he or she may be -- that the state will be able to prove the fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. That will not only get you a prison sentence, it will leave you with a felony criminal record and you will still have to make restitution payments to the state.

Prison accommodations are not pleasant, but if you had a fugitive warrant against you for a felony charge, every state in the country would hold you -- most often without bond, so you were quite lucky -- to wait to see if Texas wanted you back.

Every state honors another state's fugitive warrant. So the time you spent in jail getting back to Texas has nothing to do with the case waiting for you there. It's a separate matter which actually could have led to the charging of a separate crime, which it appears that Texas did not want to pursue.

You certainly do have a voice. You are never required to take an offer. You can stand by your plea of not guilty and get your day in court by electing to have your case go to trial. But if you do that, as this offer is for a deferred adjudication, it will go off the table once the case is indicted, and there willl be no changing your mind to get the deferral again.

The deal is as good as you're ever going to get since it will not result in a conviction and since the case against you is very strong.

Hope this helps you understand the circumstances.

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