Texas Theft Cases
What are the Different forms of Theft?Theft accusations range from shoplifting, welfare fraud, burglary, robbery and employee theft. Generally, the consequences of a theft case depend on the value of what was taken, and whether any force was involved. Theft cases can be as serious as first degree felonies or as minor as citations (Class C misdemeanors). Theft can be mere shoplifting or it can be called misapplication of fiduciary duty. However, because Theft cases have hidden consequences they all require diligent attention.
What sorts of hidden consequences do Theft cases have?In Texas all criminal offenses have three different immediate consequences listed below in descending order:
3) Deferred Adjudication (a special kind of probation where the case is dismissed but still on your record if you complete your probation)
Theft cases, however, have hidden consequences that are not often explained when someone is charged or taking a plea. These hidden consequences come as the result of the fact that theft cases are crimes of moral turpitude. A crime of moral turpitude is a label given to people who are marked as liars by the system. This means that employers will see that you have been convicted of stealing and could decide not to hire you. It also means that if you ever have to testify someone can ask you about your theft convictions. Finally, if you are not a citizen of the United States theft convictions or even deferred adjudications can have adverse effects on your right to remain in the United States.
Strategies for Dealing with a Theft AccusationMerely getting arrested gives you a criminal history. If you are accused of theft you need a lawyer to walk you through each and every one of the stages of the process to make sure that you escape with as few consequences as possible. A good lawyer should do the following 1) Examine the State's evidence. 2) Ask if the State's Evidence is complete; Do they have all the evidence they need? Did they get the videotape if there is one? Did they talk to all the witnesses and did they investigate all possible leads? 3) Examine the possibility of getting the case dismissed. 4) Determine if the value of what was taken is properly assessed. Many times alleged complainants (victims) inflate the value of what was taken and justify it by claiming that they lost time from work or time from their jobs, this is not proper according to Texas law and because value is so important in determining which court has jurisdiction this can be a powerful tool in getting your case dismissed.
What can a Lawyer do to Help Me When I am accused of Theft?A good lawyer will advocate for you and against the charges and accusations. Prosecutors often look at people charged with a crime as a group of people. They think of people charged with theft as thieves. However, we know that this is unfair. We look for discrepancies in the evidence and we use those discrepancies to your benefit. We make sure that the people who will be making decisions about you know the entire person; the husband, mother, wife, child, and not just the accusation. This is what makes our representation so successful. We not only advise you of your rights we tell you how we can use your rights to get you the best possible result for your case. We take your case seriously and look for every possible issue to get you the best possible result.
How Difficult is it to get a Theft Case dismissed?Theft cases require special attention and specialized knowledge. Prosecutors are reluctant to dismiss these cases because dismissing these case means disappointing someone who believes they have lost money or property due to someone else's dishonesty. The good news is that Prosecutors tend to specialize in other forms of crime other than theft. They are used to prosecuting violent crime and DWI's. They are not used to having to figure out the nuances of property crimes. Therefore, hiring an experienced attorney gives you a real advantage in fighting your case and increases your chance of getting your case dismissed.