Effective Defense For All Theft Related Charges
If you have been charged with theft, you should take it very seriously. A conviction for theft will stay on your record for the remainder of your life. The punishment for a theft crime can include jail time and large fines. Probation is not always guaranteed, especially for folks with previous theft history. Prosecutors take theft very seriously. This is because often times there is another person involved — an alleged victim — and the prosecutors must answer to those alleged victims.
What Is Theft?
If you deprive an owner (person or business) of property or service without the owner’s consent, without justification or intent to return or pay for the property, you have committed theft. Under Texas law, theft is committed if the person “unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of the property.”
A Crime Of “Moral Turpitude”
But perhaps the worst part of a theft charge is what a conviction can do to your future. Background checks are a routine part of life, and a theft conviction can make life very difficult. Employers are very reluctant to hire someone with a record of theft. You may have trouble renting an apartment. You may even face difficulties in obtaining insurance and other necessities in life.
Theft Dollar Amount & Penalties Under Texas Law
- Theft under $100: Class C Misdemeanor
- Theft range is $100 – $750: Class B Misdemeanor
- Theft range is $750 – $2,500: Class A Misdemeanor
- Theft range is $2,500 – $30,000: State Jail Felony
- Theft range is $30,000 – $150,000: Third Degree Felony
- Theft range is $150,000 – $300,000: Second Degree Felony
- Theft over $300,000: First Degree Felony
Increasing Punishment & the Effect of Prior Convictions
If you have been charged with theft of property or services, your potential jail time may increase depending on your criminal history. That is to say, the degree of offense and range of punishment goes up with each charge. The following is an example of how the law enhances punishment for repeat theft offenders:
- Class B Misdemeanors: First time theft or shoplifting between $100 – $750
- Class B Misdemeanors: Theft Under $100 with a previous conviction for theft
- State Jail Felony: An otherwise misdemeanor theft with two previous theft convictions
Types Of Theft And Theft-Related Offenses We Defend
Texas law prohibits several acts which fall in under the broad category of theft. The following are the most common we defend:
- Theft of property/shoplifting
- Theft of services
- Theft by check
- Credit & debit card abuse
- Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
- Burglary of vehicle
- Burglary of a building
- Burglary of a habitation
Our lawyers at the Hardy Law Group, PLLC, have extensive experience defending individuals charged with theft and theft-related criminal offenses. We work hard to work towards the best resolution possible in every case. We seek to have your case dismissed where possible, or have your case reduced to a lesser grade or lesser offense, particularly where there are mitigating circumstances. And of course, we can present your case to a jury and hold the prosecutors to their burden of proof.
Contact Us If You Face Theft Charges
Call us now to determine how we can go about fighting for you and protecting your future. Initial consultations with an attorney are free and confidential. Call our Fort Worth, TX, office at (817) 857-4111 or write to us through our web site.
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