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Dallas, TX |
Attorney answers 5


Not sure what a thelf is. I'm assuming it's a theft case. It's impossible to guess how a case will end based on such limited information. The myriad of factors that affect the final outcome are the reason criminal defense lawyers can't guarantee any outcome in a particular case. Your lack of criminal history is a plus, still, this is a felony case. Given items back is not a defense, but it may mitigate in punishment.

You should start spend your time interviewing local criminal defense lawyers to assist on your case. This is a felony, a case that can and will impact the rest of your. Hire the best lawyer you can afford, as soon as possible.

My avvo answers are not legal advice. This is not an attorney client relationship. Before making any decision on how to proceed, you should hire the best local criminal defense lawyer you can afford. Do not post sensitive information on Avvo, this forum is not privileged or confidential.


The punishment range will be 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If you've never been arrested before, though, you'll probably at least be offered probation, unless the facts were particularly heinous for some reason. Your attorney can explain more about this, but what would probably help you most in dealing with the lifelong consequences of this is to try to get deferred adjudication probation or pretrial diversion (if that's even a possibility--I would guess it probably would not be, but we don't have that here, so I know very little about it). There's an attorney who regularly answers on this forum who does work in the Dallas area, though, and if he sees this perhaps he can let you know about that.

In any case, unless there's some question as to whether you actually had the intent to steal or whiter the State could prove its case (in which case dismissal would be an option), those are your best chances of having this not ruin the rest of your life. no matter how good an offer you get, even if it's a reduction to a misdemeanor theft with nothing but a $200 fine, having ANY kind of theft conviction will cause you untold problems and is something you want to avoid.

If you somehow get it dismissed, you'll be eligible to expunge it eventually (though not anytime soon), and the records will actually get destroyed. If you get and complete deferred probation, you can apply to have your records sealed, which will result in enough restrictions on access to your records that you'll probably be okay as long you're not in sone sort of profession. Good luck.


A third degree theft means that you are being accused of theft of over $20,000 but less than $100,000. If that is your situation then the range of punishment is from 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Because you do not have a prior felony conviction you are eligible for probation. As a first time offender and the fact that you returned the property it is likely that the worst case scenario is likely deferred adjudication.


Oh, Lord--I just now checked back on this and saw I put 2-20 this morning. No idea why, since I was certainly THINKING 2-10! Either I was thinking subconsciously about someone totally different that's got a 20,000-100,000 case for embezzlement (which really is a 2nd degree, 2-20 case), or that's what I get for not going to bed at a decent hour last night. I'm so sorry about that.

Hey there, Mario! How have you been?


The fact that you returned property that you had earlier taken without permission does not guarantee that you will not be prosecuted. Theft is against the laws of the state of Texas and may be prosecuted if supported by the particular facts surrounding the taking of property. The prosecuting attorney will review the facts and circumstances of the taking of property to determine if there is any criminal intent on your part. In other words, at the moment of the taking of property, did you "intend" to commit a crime. Your subjective "intent" may be easily determined or difficult. If the prosecutor believes the fact support a theft, you will be officially accused and appear in court. The fact that you returned property and have no prior criminal record are matters in your favor and your attorney should raise those good factors with the prosecutor when he/she discusses your case.