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Defense of Theft Allegations in Texas

Defense Attorney for Theft Allegations

Common theft crimes include burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, and theft by a fiduciary. The seriousness of these crimes usually depends on the amount of property involved. Punishment ranges from a short period of probation to a lengthy prison sentence. A conviction for any of these crimes will likely have a long-lasting impact on a person's ability to gain employment.

Texas Theft Punishment

The punishment ranges for a theft conviction vary considerably depending upon the value of the merchandise stolen. However, the greatest punishment from a theft conviction will be the damage done to the defendant's reputation and standing within the community. Texas as well as most other states consider a theft conviction to be a crime of moral turpitude. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude, such as theft, will limit your ability to get a good job and will cast a shadow over your future.

Because theft is a crime of moral turpitude, it is necessary to do everything possible to avoid a conviction. When we represent someone who is accused of a theft, we investigate all lawful and ethical means to have the case dismissed or rejected. If a theft case is dismissed or rejected, we then strongly advise our clients to get the case expunged.

Our San Antonio criminal defense lawyers have successfully pursued entities with civil suits that had our clients wrongfully arrested for theft. In order to sue the entity, such as a store, that wrongfully accuses a shopper of theft will normally require some blatant disregard of the law by the store. Stores and their employees do have the common law right to detain a shopper if they have sufficient facts to believe a theft has occurred.

Punishment for a theft conviction will vary depending upon the value of the merchandise allegedly stolen. The offense is a class C if the merchandise's value is less than $50 or less than $20 if it was a bad check. As a class C, you are not subject to jail but a fine can be imposed. However, even though it is a class C offense you should fight the allegations and try to avoid a conviction. If the value of the merchandise is more than $50 but less than $500, or it is a bad check worth more than $20 but less than $500 it is a class B misdemeanor where you can be punished by up to six months in jail as well as a fine and imposition of community service. The offense levels and punishments increase as the value of the allegedly stolen items increase. If the value of the stolen property is sufficiently high it is even possible to be charged with a first-degree felony that could result in a life sentence.

There are numerous enhancements that can increase the punishment ranges for even simple thefts. Examples include: property stolen from the elderly, property stolen from a nonprofit organization, and a prior theft conviction can result in an enhancement.

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To learn more about the defense of theft charges in Texas, please contact our firm online today to schedule a free initial consultation.