Have you been charged with a theft offense in Dallas, TX? With your freedom and good name on the line, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Dallas theft crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
The Edgett Law Firm represents clients in Dallas who are facing misdemeanor and felony theft charges. Our defense attorneys have handled more than 5,000 cases successfully. We deliver the same level of dependable and honest legal representation to every client. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review.
How Our Dallas Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help When You Are Facing a Theft Charge
A theft conviction can have wide-reaching consequences. You may face not only jail time and high fees but a civil claim and a permanent criminal record that damages your ability to get a job. The prosecuting attorney will likely seek the maximum punishment allowed with little sympathy for your situation.
When you are facing serious theft charges, a Dallas, TX criminal defense attorney can help you safeguard your legal rights and build the strong defense you deserve.
At the Edgett Law Firm, we will help you fight the charge you are facing with over a decade of experience across 5,000 cases handled successfully.
Our compassionate and aggressive legal team has earned a reputation with local prosecutors and judges.
When you choose the Edgett Law Firm to represent you in a theft case, you can depend on our Dallas criminal defense lawyers to:
- Perform a careful investigation of your case
- Gather crucial evidence to strengthen your defense, prove an alibi, or introduce reasonable doubt
- Search for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Negotiate for a reduction or dismissal of charges or a plea deal with the prosecution
- Represent you in court
No matter what charges you are facing or your prior criminal history, you deserve a vigorous legal defense. Contact the Edgett Law Firm today to schedule a free case review with an aggressive Dallas theft crime lawyer to review your defense options.
Common Theft Charges in Dallas
There are many theft offenses under Texas law ranging from simple misdemeanors punishable by fines to first-degree felonies punishable by up to life in prison. According to Texas Penal Code Section 31.03, someone commits a theft offense when they “unlawfully appropriate property with intent to deprive the owner of property.”
There is a great deal of leeway in this definition and theft can take many forms in the state of Texas.
Theft can involve, for example, shoplifting, extortion, theft from a person, burglary, receiving stolen property, and even identity theft or embezzlement – common white collar crimes.
Some of the most common theft charges in Texas include:
Shoplifting or retail theft is the most common type of theft offense in Dallas. Shoplifting is defined as removing merchandise from a store without paying the full retail price. Someone may be charged with shoplifting for concealing and stealing merchandise or switching price tags to pay a lower price.
Under the Texas Theft Liability Act, victims have the right to file a lawsuit to recover for damages. This may occur alongside criminal shoplifting charges.
In Dallas, TX, shoplifting can be a misdemeanor or a felony. It ultimately depends on the value of the stolen merchandise.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 31.07, someone may be charged with auto theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle for intentionally operating someone else’s car or boat without the owner’s effective consent. This is a state jail felony regardless of the vehicle’s value.
Robbery is defined under Section 29.02 as committing theft that involves intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury or threatening or placing someone in fear of imminent harm. Robbery is a second-degree felony in Texas.
Aggravated robbery refers to a robbery offense that causes serious injury, is committed with a deadly weapon, or is committed against a disabled or elderly person. Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony.
Receiving Stolen Property
You can be charged for a theft crime in Texas even if you do not commit the actual theft. The charge of receiving or purchasing stolen property can occur in many ways. However, the key to being convicted is proving that you knew or had reason to know the item was stolen.
Receiving stolen property is usually punished as harshly as a typical theft. For example, receiving stolen property valued at $100 to $750 is a Class B misdemeanor.
Burglary refers to entering a building or home not open to the public or remaining concealed in the building for the purpose of assault, theft, or committing a felony, or attempting any of these acts. This offense is generally a state jail felony, but burglary of a home is a second-degree felony.
Penalties for Dallas Theft Crimes
The penalties for a theft offense in Dallas depend on whether the offense is a misdemeanor or felony. Punishments can be enhanced if the alleged offender has a prior criminal history, the victim was disabled or elderly, or a weapon was used. The value of the stolen property also impacts the penalty.
General theft is a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of the property.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Theft Charges
For general theft, the value of the stolen property determines the level of misdemeanor. Certain theft charges will result in a higher charge depending on the item stolen or a prior criminal record.
Theft under $100 is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and include:
- Theft greater than $100 and under $750
- Theft under $100 but with a prior theft conviction
- Theft of a driver’s license or personal identification certificate
Theft greater than $750 and under $2,500 is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
Penalties for Felony Theft Charges
Many theft charges are automatically felony charges.
A state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility. This is charged for:
- Theft greater than $2,500 but under $30,000
- Theft with two prior theft convictions regardless of theft grade
- Theft of a firearm, regardless of value
- Property stolen from the person of another or from a grave or corpse.
- Theft of an official ballot or election carrier envelope
- The property is valued at under $20,000 but is brass, copper, bronze, or aluminum
A third-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison. It is charged for:
- Theft greater than $30,000 but under $150,000
- Controlled substance valued at less than $150,000 if stolen from a commercial building like a hospital or nursing home or a wholesale drug distributor’s vehicle
- Certain livestock thefts valued under $150,000
A second-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison. It’s charged for:
- Theft greater than $150,000 but under $300,000
- Theft of an ATM or the contents of an ATM
A first-degree felony is punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison. This is the most serious theft charge for theft greater than $300,000.
These theft offenses can be increased to the next category if the alleged perpetrator was a public servant at the time of the offense, was in a government contract, or was a Medicare provider.
Defenses to Theft Charges in Dallas
It’s easy to feel hopeless when you are facing prosecution, but there are many legal defenses that may be available to you. The Dallas theft crimes attorneys at the Edgett Law Firm will help you explore potential defenses.
For example, there may have been a lack of intent to deprive the owner of the property. In a case involving theft by check, you may not have realized there were insufficient funds in your account when the check was written. In a retail theft case, you may have simply left the store without realizing the merchandise was not paid for.
If you are charged with receiving stolen property, you may have had no reason to believe the property was stolen because you purchased it from a private party at a price close to its market value. The property may have been found in your car or home but was stolen or received by a roommate.
Your Dallas theft defense lawyer will investigate your case and help you build the strongest legal defense possible.
Contact a Dallas Theft Crimes Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation
When you are facing a theft charge in Dallas, it isn’t just your freedom that is on the line. You may face both criminal and civil penalties as well as a permanent criminal record. This can affect immigration status and particularly employment. It’s crucial to contact an experienced Dallas theft crimes lawyer as soon as possible to begin building your defense and protecting your rights.
Contact the Edgett Law Firm today to schedule a free case review with a Dallas theft defense lawyer to discuss your case.