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A trustworthy reputation is something that can take a lifetime to earn and moments to destroy. A theft accusation is one of the strongest weapons with which to destroy it. It takes hard work to clear one’s good name, or to mitigate the damage of a theft conviction or accusation. Lubbock theft defense attorneys are ready, willing and able to do that work. A skilled defense lawyer can work hard to build a defense to their client’s theft charges,
Types of Charges
Theft is defined under Texas state penal code Title 7 Sec. 31. 03 (a) as a person unlawfully appropriating property with intent to deprive the owner of property. The monetary value of what is taken, and the means by which it is taken are key factors in classifying a theft and the severity of the punishment incurred.
Generally, violations of theft laws in Lubbock are classified as follows:
- Class C misdemeanor for theft of an item valued at $100 or less
- Class B misdemeanor for theft of an item valued between $100 and $750
- Class A misdemeanor for an item valued between $750 and $2500
If certain types of property are stolen– including certain firearms or livestock valued under $20,000 — the accused may spend between 180 days to two years in state jail, and/or a fine of $10,000 or less.
Third Degree Felony Theft
Theft of property or certain livestock valued between $30,000 and $100,000
Depending on the circumstances surrounding someone’s accusations, their Lubbock theft lawyer may be able to have the severity of their charges reduced, if not dismissed altogether.
Second Degree Felony Theft
Theft of services or property valued between $100,000 and $300,000.
First Degree Felony Theft
Theft of property valued at $300,000 or more.
Moving from misdemeanor to felony class charges, from class C to A, or third to first degree, the punishments become more severe. The stakes of a person’s case increase. Theft charges can range from simple theft of an item valued at less than $100, to felonies like robbery, in which a person is accused of causing injury while committing theft. The punishment for the former crime may be a $500 (or less) fine, while punishment for the latter can be life in prison.
With someone’s reputation and their finances at stake, it would be wise to employ a Lubbock theft lawyer who deeply understands federal, state, and local law as it pertains to their client’s case. In addition to the standard legal penalties for theft, someone may also be held responsible for damages resulting from the theft up to $10,000. The severity of theft penalties can become even greater if their charge results in a second or third-time theft conviction. In this instance, a theft charge that is normally treated as a misdemeanor can be elevated to a felony.
Building a Defense
Lubbock theft lawyers will look at their client’s case in multiple ways. They look if they can prove their case, specifically, the element that it was an intentional act to deprive another person. They look at what the facts show, what the witnesses show, whether it was an accident, how it happened, if there are allegations, and if there are misunderstandings. They also look at whether the government can prove their case. If they can prove their case, lawyers look at mitigation. Often, lawyers are trying to look at the facts and develop a good mitigation package.
Lawyers want to see everything in a case and then figure out there is something they are not seeing that maybe they should. One thing that Lubbock theft lawyers want to look at if they have a theft case that deals with financials or an embezzlement case in Texas, if whether they might need a forensic GPA or someone that understands the county procedures to look at that intention. Forensic accountants do those kinds of investigations.
Contacting an Attorney
The role of the lawyer is to work the case in two ways. One is to know what happened, which includes seeing the facts of the case, finding out what the government can prove, and figuring out what can be done to prevent the cabinet from proving the case. If there is an allegation or a report, lawyers can start conducting their own investigation early on.
Given the gravity of these consequences, it would be best not to leave your case in the hands of a novice. Lubbock theft defense attorneys are highly knowledgeable and will work tirelessly to obtain the best possible results for your unique case.