In Texas, a criminal charge of theft (which is also sometimes referred to as larceny) can have immediate consequences such as a fine and/or jail time and result in a lifelong criminal record. Therefore, it is important to not face these charges alone. An adept defense attorney can fight for you. A Fort Worth theft lawyer can help you build a defense based on your unique case to give you the best chance at a positive outcome for your circumstances.
As per the applicable provision of Texas Penal Code – PENAL § 31.03, the crime of theft involves the intentional and unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent of not returning it to them. This can be done by actually carrying off the property or by obtaining it through some type of fraudulent action or misrepresentation.
Depending on the value of what was taken, thefts can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a First-Degree felony. The full range of potential charges are as follows:
For more information, or for assistance with building a claim, contact a Fort Worth theft lawyer today.
Each charge can result in corresponding penalties, ranging from a few hundred dollars in fines to life in prison. The potential penalties are:
The above-listed charges and punishments can be increased depending on the facts and circumstances in a given case. For example, anyone with a prior conviction who is charged with a Class B or a Class C misdemeanor may automatically have the charge increased by one level. In addition, the theft of certain items such as firearms or metals will automatically be prosecuted as felonies regardless of the value of the items involved.
Texas does have several ways in which someone with a criminal record may be able to gain some relief from the burdens and hardships that often result from that status. Although such relief is far from automatic, there are situations – especially those involving lower-level crimes and younger offenders – where the courts may be willing to consider giving someone a second chance. A Fort Worth theft lawyer can evaluate a case to determine whether there may be sources of leniency in a case.
Even low-level theft charges can carry hefty fines. More serious charges can result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Further, these allegations can result in restrictive criminal records that can follow you for the rest of your life.
If you are facing any type of theft charge, you should contact a Fort Worth theft lawyer for a free consultation. Doing so will help to ensure that your legal rights are fully protected and that you have all the information you need to decide how to proceed.