If you have been ticketed or arrested for any grade of Theft, you need a good criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Theft is one of those offenses that will almost certainly prevent you from reaching your future goals if it is revealed on a background check.Theft charges range in severity from Class C Misdemeanors to First Degree Felonies, depending on the value of the property. A conviction is frequently used as grounds to terminate or deny employment, deny lease applications, and prevent you from obtaining some State or Federal licenses.Almost every job application asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony or any grade of theft.

It is extremely important to have a criminal defense lawyer who understands the repercussions of having a theft conviction on your record. I will do everything in my power to prevent you from having to answer “yes” to that question.If you are arrested for a Class C misdemeanor theft charge you may be tempted to just pay the fine. Kind of seems easy, just pay the fine and you get out.  Why bond out, hire an attorney and deal with all of that?   You may even hear from the police or jail staff its the same level as a speeding ticket.  What they mean is it is the same level misdemeanor, but the consequences are far greater for a theft on your record than a speeding ticket on your record.

A conviction is frequently used as grounds to terminate or deny employment, deny lease applications, and prevent you from obtaining some State or Federal licenses.Almost every job application asks if you have ever been convicted of a felony or any grade of theft. It is extremely important to have a criminal defense lawyer who understands the repercussions of having a theft conviction on your record. I will do everything in my power to prevent you from having to answer “yes” to that question.If you are arrested for a Class C misdemeanor theft charge you may be tempted to just pay the fine. Kind of seems easy, just pay the fine and you get out.  Why bond out, hire an attorney and deal with all of that?   You may even hear from the police or jail staff its the same level as a speeding ticket.  What they mean is it is the same level misdemeanor, but the consequences are far greater for a theft on your record than a speeding ticket on your record.I have successfully represented clients charged with theft crimes, including the following:

    • Shoplifting
    • Hot check/bad check
    • Identity theft
    • Credit card abuse
    • Burglary of a Vehicle
    • Burglary of a Building
    • Burglary of a Habitation
    • Theft under $100
    • Theft $100 – $750
    • Theft $750 – $2,500
    • Theft $2,500 – $30,000
    • Robbery
    • Aggravated Robbery

As a theft lawyer, I have seen almost everything in my years of practicing criminal defense as it relates to defending theft cases. From a high school student taking something on a dare, to a mother walking out of a store, talking on her cell, consumed with the demands of life and totally forgetting to pay.

Theft Cases: Minors/Students Committing Theft

Recently I have noticed theft among children has become increasingly more common. Almost every student I ask says they know or have known a friend who has shoplifted from a store. These are offenses which will remain on your child’s record for a long time. It may even effect their ability to find work or get into college.

Recent studies show over 27 million people shoplift each year in the United States. Of that amount, twenty-five percent are minors. Eighty-nine percent of these kids say they know others who shoplift, and they hang out with them.[1]

Many of these kids think it is harmless or there is no real victim, it’s just a store, but shoplifting can leave a serious theft charge on their record. It is very important that you consult with a good criminal defense attorney if your child is charged with theft. Especially since thirty-three percent of kids say it is hard for them to quit shoplifting even after they are caught.[2]

The most common items stolen by kids are cosmetics, clothes, jewelry, electronics, DVDs, power tools, and televisions. Depending on the value of the property, the offense could range from a Class C Misdemeanor to a First Degree Felony.

Robbery Case: Theft Cases Resulting in an Injury

The difference between theft and robbery is bodily injury or a threat of imminent bodily injury. In the legal world, bodily injury simply means to feel pain. Imagine while at Target you slip an item into your purse or pocket. While trying to exit without getting caught, a security guard shouts at you from the door. In fear of being caught, you attempt to run past the security guard, but while running out the door, the security guard falls and injuries his knee. Theft is a serious enough offense, but now it has been upgraded to Robbery, a felony offense. Prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys often refer to this situation as a theft case gone bad. This example is not uncommon. It is important that you get a criminal defense attorney who understands the dynamics of these theft and robbery laws or your situation could get even worse.

Penalties for Theft: Texas Penal Code §31.03

   
Less than $100 Class C misdemeanorA fine of not to exceed more than $500
$100 – $750Class B misdemeanorNo more than 180 days in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $2,000
$750 – $2,500Class A misdemeanorNo more than 1 year in a county jail and/or a fine of not more than $4,000
$2,500 – $30,000State jail felony180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of no more than $10,000
$30,000 – $150,000Third-degree felony2 to 10 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000
$150,000 – $300,000Second-degree felony2 to 20 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000
$300,000 or moreFirst-degree felony5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of no more than $10,000

 

Whether it was a ridiculous decision of an 18-year-old student or a parent forgetting to pay, you may find your reputation is at stake. I represent those accused of any theft crime – from a Class C Theft under $100 to First Degree Felony Theft charges.

Whether a theft charge is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the value of the item alleged to have been stolen. Please contact me as soon as possible, for a consultation, immediate action can often be the difference in your case.

Counties Serviced: Criminal Defense Lawyer Tarrant County, Denton County, Jack County, Johnson County, Kaufman County, Montague County, Navarro County, Palo Pinto County, Parker County, Wise County, and Young County.

Fort Worth Attorney Services

[1] http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/learning-resource-center/statistics/

[2] Id.