If you are arrested for a financial or property crime such as shoplifting, theft, or larceny, you could face harsh penalties if convicted. On top of that, having a criminal record with a financial crime conviction could significantly impact your future job prospects.
No attorney can guarantee a dismissal of charges, but your best chance at avoiding tough penalties may still be to contact a Fort Worth theft lawyer for help. Call now to discuss your case, legal defense options, and any other questions you have in a private, confidential setting.
Theft crimes are a category of criminal offenses that involve illegally taking, or attempting to take, someone else’s property. Some of the most common theft charges seen by experienced theft lawyers in Fort Worth include:
It is important to note that under Texas state law, theft-related crimes are different than robbery-related crimes. While theft and robbery both involve illegally taking someone else’s property, the term “robbery” only applies when someone attempts to unlawfully take the property of another using force or threat of force. Robbery and related offenses, such as carjacking, are usually felony crimes, which means that someone convicted of robbery would likely face years in state prison and should consult with a Fort Worth theft lawyer as soon as possible.
The penalties someone could face upon conviction of a theft crime typically depend on the unique facts of their case. Thefts are categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the amount stolen. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes that are usually punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year.
On the other hand, felonies are punishable by incarceration in state prison for at least six months, and often much longer. When it comes to theft and financial crimes, the value of the allegedly stolen property often determines whether the defendant faces a misdemeanor or felony.
Texas Penal Code Section Sec. 31.03(e) dictates the penalties that someone could face upon conviction of a theft crime. Again, these penalties are determined by the value of the property involved in the case. Theft of property valued at under $100 is a Class C misdemeanor only punishable by a maximum fine of $500, but if the stolen property value is $2,500 or more, the charge will be upgraded to a felony punishable by between six months and two years in state jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Further increases in property value correspond with more severe felony charges and longer prison sentences, up to a minimum of five years and a maximum of 99 years for a first-degree felony of stealing property valued at $300,000 or more. For most felony theft charges in Fort Worth, the maximum allowable fine is $10,000.
If you are arrested for a theft crime, you may have a number of questions and concerns regarding the details and potential consequences of the charges you face. A Fort Worth theft lawyer could answer those questions, work to gather evidence to defend you in court, and fight to protect your legal rights to a fair trial. Contact a dedicated theft attorney now to get started on your case.