No matter the value of the goods or services allegedly stolen, theft is a criminal offense that requires an element of dishonesty. While charges and penalties for theft can vary widely, a conviction on your permanent criminal record may be damaging to your ability to improve your life and your career. If you are facing these charges, you should consider the benefits of retaining a Collin County theft lawyer to advocate on your behalf.
While many defenses may apply in a theft case, you may be unaware of these potential defenses unless you seek the advice of a practiced defense lawyer. Getting legal representation may allow you to fully explore the options available for resolving your case and make the decisions that might help you achieve your goals.
Theft Offenses in Collin County
The Texas Penal Code § 31.03 provides extensive examples of when a theft offense has occurred and the resulting charges and penalties. The common factor in all theft offenses is that they involve individuals who unlawfully take control over property that belong to others without their consent. To constitute theft, a person must intend to deprive the owners of their ability to use or gain any advantage from the property.
This section of the penal code also defines various situations in which authorities may assume theft has occurred. As an example, employees in pawn shops are presumed to know that property is stolen if they pay the sellers of the property $25 or more and they knowingly:
- Fail to record identifying information about the sellers
- Fail to record identifying information about the property, including a serial number if available
- Fail to get a signed warranty from the sellers that they have the right to possess the property
Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code also lists various theft offenses that relate to specific types of property. Theft of services, theft of trade secrets, and theft by check are all separate offenses from the primary code section that defines theft. For those who are facing any theft charges, consulting a theft attorney in Collin County may be useful.
What Are the Specific Charges for These Offenses?
Theft can be a misdemeanor or felony offense, primarily based on the value of the stolen goods or services. Misdemeanor charges typically arise from assets valued at less than $2,500, and felony charges usually involve products valued at more than $2,500, with a few exceptions.
Both misdemeanor and felony theft offenses fall into various classes, generally based on the value of the stolen goods. The categories they fall under are also based on the nature of the products taken. As an example, the theft of a driver’s license belonging to another is a Class B misdemeanor, no matter of its value. Other Class B misdemeanor charges result from goods valued between $100 and $750.
There are also various classes of theft offenses, which range from state jail felonies to first-degree felony charges. As is the case with misdemeanor offenses, the level of a felony offense depends upon the value of the stolen goods and in many cases, the type of stolen property. Given the vast number of theft charges and the potential impacts they may have on a person’s life, defendants are advised to speak with a well-versed Collin County theft lawyer to learn their rights.
Other Felony Offenses Involving Theft
Theft is an element of several other felony offenses under Texas law. For example, burglary involves an illegal entry into a home or business with the intent to commit theft or another felony. This is a separate felony charge that can accompany a theft or another felony offense.
Another felony offense that includes an element of theft is robbery, which occurs when an individual directly steals property from another. During the commission of the theft, some injury or threat of harm occurs to the target of the robbery. A robbery offense may become aggravated robbery if committed while using a gun or any other deadly weapon.
Consult a Collin County Theft Attorney
Theft charges can result in damaging consequences for you, your career, and your future. Contacting a Collin County theft lawyer at your earliest convenience may be the most effective way to fight the charges against you.
Legal representation is crucial when facing any criminal charges and could impact the overall outcome of your situation. Rather than attempting to handle a complicated situation on your own, allow a professional who is familiar with the criminal justice system to guide you through it. Call today.