Theft crimes can carry some major penalties, ranging from fines and probation, to serious jail time and restitution, depending on the nature and severity of the alleged offense. So, it’s natural to feel frightened and even embarrassed if you’ve been arrested for a theft-related crime.
Theft accusations can be more than just embarrassing; you could face major challenges in the future, even after you’ve repaid your debt to society. For decades to come, you may encounter difficulties whenever you apply for a job, seek out a place to live or attempt to do anything else that may entail a background check.
In fact, a theft-related conviction is typically considered a crime of moral turpitude, and as such, it can result in deportation for anyone who holds a green card or is in the midst of the immigration process.
Theft crimes can take many forms, including shoplifting, burglary, identity theft, fraud, robbery and receiving stolen property, amongst other offenses. Theft crimes that are committed in a non-violent manner while performing the course of your work-related duties or while in a position of trust often fall under the umbrella of white collar crimes too.
Whatever theft crime you’ve been charged with, the legal team at the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass is here to assist. Our Dallas law firm was founded by an attorney with more than 20 years of legal experience, so you can proceed with confidence knowing that your theft defense lawyer will defend you in an aggressive and strategic manner that maximizes your chances of seeing a positive case resolution.
Our law firm was founded by Attorney Jeffrey Grass, an experienced criminal lawyer who has served as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG) and earned a spot as one of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Lawyers. Attorney Grass also maintains an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a theft crime in Dallas County, Fort Worth, or the surrounding area, contact the Texas criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.
Common Questions Addressed By Our Dallas County Theft Crimes Attorneys
It’s normal to have lots of questions and concerns as your case progresses. Here is a look at some of the most common questions that we encounter with clients who are facing theft allegations.
What Are the Most Common Theft Crimes in Texas?
Defense attorneys encounter cases involving many different crimes and offenses, some of which are prosecuted as a more minor misdemeanor, while more serious offenses are prosecuted as a felony offense.
Here is a look at some of the most common theft crimes:
General theft – General theft charges may be filed if someone takes an item from another person without permission, using any means, including concealment or deception.
Shoplifting – The crime of shoplifting occurs when someone deliberately takes merchandise from a store with an intent to “deprive the seller of the full value of the item.” Shoplifting can take a few forms, such as concealing something in your bag and leaving the store without paying or switching the price tags on merchandise so you pay a lower price.
Bad checks – Bad check charges could be filed if an individual writes a check knowing that the bank account is closed or knowing that the bank account lacks sufficient funds to cover the purchase. Of course, an accidental “bounced check” can occur on occasion. This situation can serve as grounds for criminal prosecution if the shopper fails to make good on the check within ten days of receiving notification. If you do not reimburse the merchant within 10 days, criminal charges can result.
Burglary – Burglary charges may be filed if you unlawfully enter a structure with the intent to commit a felony while inside, such as theft or assault.
Larceny – The act of larceny refers to a non-forceful act of theft involving personal property. If force is utilized, an act of larceny is upgraded to robbery.
Robbery – Robbery refers to an act of theft involving personal property that is taken by an individual who is accused of “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another; or intentionally or knowingly threatening or placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury or death.” The act may be considered aggravated robbery – a more serious offense – if the robbery results in serious bodily injury, involves the use or brandishing of a deadly weapon. A robbery may also be considered “aggravated” if the victim is elderly (age 65 or older) or mentally or physically disabled.
Buying or receiving stolen property – Charges of buying or receiving stolen property may be filed if you buy or accept items that are known to be stolen or accept/buy items from someone who is not the rightful owner of that property.
What Are the Possible Theft Crime Penalties in Dallas County and the state of Texas?
Theft crimes vary depending upon the nature of the offense and the value of the stolen item, along with the individual’s criminal history. Individuals who have been convicted of a theft crime in the past can expect to see a harsher penalty than someone who has never been in trouble with the law previously.
Prosecutors do have quite a bit of leverage when it comes to deciding how a crime will be charged. Certain items, including firearms, copper or aluminum, will virtually always result in a felony charge, regardless of the dollar value.
Our law firm’s team of Dallas theft crime lawyers use the following as a general guide to determine how an offense may be prosecuted.
Theft of less than $50 (or less than $20 by check) is usually prosecuted as a Class C misdemeanor with a possible penalty of a fine up to $500.
Theft of $50 to $499.99 (or $20 to $499 by check) is usually prosecuted as a Class B misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to 180 days in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Theft of $500 to $1,499.99 is usually prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
Theft of $1,500 to $19,999.99 is usually prosecuted as a state jail felony with a possible penalty of 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of $20,000 to $99,999.99 is usually prosecuted as a third-degree felony with a possible penalty of 2 to 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of $100,000 to $199,999.99 is usually prosecuted as a second-degree felony with a possible penalty of 2 to 20 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Theft of $200,000 or more is usually prosecuted as a first-degree felony with a possible penalty of 5 to 99 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to fines, an individual who is convicted of a theft crime can also expect to pay restitution if the victim suffered any sort of loss (i.e. only a portion of the stolen money or goods was recovered and returned to the victim.)
Trust a Top Dallas Theft Lawyer to Defend Your Case
A theft conviction can have far-reaching effects on your reputation, your career, your future and your freedom. This is especially true for those individuals who’ve been convicted of theft crimes in the past.
In Texas, the law allows the prosecutor to upgrade the charges by one level of severity (i.e. a class B misdemeanor may be upgraded in severity to a class A misdemeanor) if the suspect has one prior theft conviction. If the individual has two prior theft convictions, a class A misdemeanor will be upgraded to a state jail felony, so the weight of prior theft offenses is quite significant, making it even more important to hire an experienced Dallas County defense lawyer if you have a previous conviction for a theft crime.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, we believe in providing each client with a strategic, aggressive defense. So if you or a loved one have been arrested for theft, reach out to our talented team of Texas criminal defense lawyers. Arrange a confidential and free case evaluation by calling (214) 431-3897.