Fort Bend County Theft Crimes Lawyer
There are any number of reasons a person can be charged with theft and sometimes those reasons are rooted in misunderstandings. Whatever the circumstance, every individual deserves to have legal counsel that believes in them and fights for them. A Fort Bend County theft crimes lawyer from our office is there to do just that.
The Law Office of Annie Scott has spent over 12 years fighting for accused’ rights and their freedom. With past experience in the District Attorney’s office, we understand the strategies and tactics of prosecutors and we leverage that experience on behalf of our clients.
Call our Sugar Land office today at (281) 466-4118 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Serving all of Fort Bend County and Harris County. Calls answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week by a live person.
What Is Theft Under Texas Law?
The legal definition of theft is a little more nuanced than many people may realize. It’s different from burglary and robbery, crimes that theft may be confused with. In a theft, the individual is charged with taking something that does not belong to them. Burglary requires the individual to have entered a building with the intent of stealing property. In a robbery, the use of force is involved.
The consequence is that the simple nature of theft means it covers a lot of potential violations. It can cover anything from personal property that may have been loaned to a neighbor and was never given back, or it could be a party guest taking a valuable document that was lying on a desk in the home office. Theft could be the embezzlement of corporate funds by an employee or similar white collar crimes. It could involve being the recipient of stolen property.
If the action involves the individual getting their hands on property that wasn't theirs to receive, there is the potential for a theft charge.
Penalties for Theft in Texas
The value of the property stolen is the key determining factor of the penalties if convicted of theft Texas law has three levels of misdemeanors and four levels of felonies.
Here’s how it works, in escalating order of severity…
- Class C Misdemeanor: This is for items worth less than $100. The worst that can happen is a $500 fine.
- Class B Misdemeanor: The range between $100 value and $750 value falls in this category.
- Class A Misdemeanor: The highest level of misdemeanor is Class A, which covers everything from $750 to $2,500.
Please be aware that misdemeanor charges can be extremely serious and not just for the fact that a conviction will sit forever on an individual ’s record when they go to apply for jobs and housing. Misdemeanors at the Class A & B levels can also result in jail time from six months to a year. Furthermore, all theft convictions can be followed up with a civil lawsuit. The victim can see punitive financial damages that may be larger than the amount that was stolen.
- State Jail Felony Theft: Now we’ve crossed over into felony charges, and this first category will cover thefts valued up to $30,000. It can also apply in situations where the value of the item stolen would be in the misdemeanor category, but the individual has two prior theft convictions. Fines for a Texas state jail felony conviction can go as high as $10,00 and the prison time will be at least six months and as long as two years.
- 3rd-Degree Felony: Property valued between $30,000 and $150,000, or if the property was stolen from a location that had controlled substances. Individualsface 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Unless the fine can be paid during the jail sentence, individualscan face this debt–which will have escalated with interest–upon their release.
- 2nd-Degree Felony: These charges can fall on anyone accused of stealing between $150,000 or $300,000. Lower dollar values can also apply here if the target was an ATM machine.
- 1st-Degree Felony: Once the value is higher than $300,000, prosecutors can bring 1st-degree felony charges. A conviction will result in a minimum sentence of five years in jail and might result in life imprisonment.
This is just a broad outline of how charges work. There are factors that can result in enhanced charges, which essentially means prosecutors can charge an individual at a higher level than what the dollar value of the crime would suggest. Reasons for enhanced theft charges include stealing from public officials, non-profit organizations, Medicare providers, and more.
The penalties are severe, but a good lawyer can give individualsreason for hope. Call the Law Office of Annie Scott at (281) 466-4118 or contact us here online and let’s sit down to discuss your defense strategy. Calls answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week by a live person.
Assault Dismissed 2021
Controlled Substance Possession Dismissed 2021
Drug Possession Dismissed 2021
Evading Arrest Dismissed 2021
Other Misdemeanor Dismissed 2021
“We followed through with her game plan and walked away from the courtroom victorious. Free from probation and jail time, I was in shock.” - Former Client
“Ms. Scott and her staff were professional from beginning to end. I was kept informed of the details of the case without having to guess or wonder how things were going.” - Former Client
“If you're ever in doubt over who to hire for your criminal defense case, please look no further - Mrs. Annie Scott is your lady to help get your life back!” - Asad N.
A Fort Bend County theft crimes lawyer has several options to look at for defense strategies depending on the circumstances of the case. One example might be the lack of criminal intent. This could apply if the individual had no intention of stealing the property and that this is a misunderstanding. A individual accused of receiving stolen property might cite this defense and support it by showing that due diligence was performed before they received the stolen item.
Duress is a viable defense against a theft charge. Was a person pressured into taking the property in question? If so, was the pressure sufficient enough to justify the action, and was the pressure truly credible? A jury would have to decide. The quality of the Fort Bend County theft crimes attorney may go a long way in deciding what the jury comes back with.
Returning stolen property doesn’t officially get an individual off the hook. The same charges can still be filed. Having said that, it’s an act that can make a difference for prosecutors who have a lot of cases on their plate to try. And it can make a difference with a judge in sentencing.
The Law Office of Annie Scott has been in the business of fighting for individualsfor over 12 years. We do our due diligence in investigating a case, understanding how the prosecution will approach it, and devising strategies that aim to protect our clients.
Calls answered 24 hours a day/7 days a week by a live person at (281) 466-4118 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.