If you were charged with theft, you may be confused, concerned, and unsure of what comes next. With so many types of theft under Texas law, with some offenses requiring decades’ imprisonment and fines of $10,000, contacting a Plainview theft lawyer could be beneficial for your defense.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer could help you ascertain what charges and possible penalties you may be facing and what defense strategy could be used to protect your rights.
Definition and Types of Theft
According to Texas Penal Code § 31.03, a theft may have occurred if an individual “unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of their property.” There could be many different offenses that fulfill the definition of theft, including but not limited to:
- Petty larceny
- Grand larceny
- Car theft
Each different theft offense may have its own set of stipulations and penalties, and each charge could require a unique defense strategy. A Plainview theft lawyer could help someone charged with theft explore their options, conduct investigations, interviews witnesses, and comes up with a defense that could yield a suitable outcome for their case.
Theft Charges and Consequences in Plainview
While the nature of the offense may dictate the charge and the possible consequences, the value of the item or items that were stolen may play a large role in determining the classification of the offense as well.
The most severe theft offense classification may occur when the value of the item or items stolen is $300,000 or more. The alleged offender could face a first-degree felony charge and, if convicted, could be sentenced to anywhere from five to 99 years’ imprisonment, plus face potential fines of up to $10,000. On top of legal penalties, the defendant may also face civil suits from the plaintiffs in a theft case.
Offenses of Moral Turpitude
Theft offenses could be considered crimes of moral turpitude, which means they are considered morally wrong and contrary to social good. Someone convicted of an offense of moral turpitude may be prevented from the following:
- Securing employment
- Gaining acceptance to colleges and universities
- Gaining access to opportunities that require a background check
Moral turpitude may be considered a negative indicator of the quality of someone’s character, and therefore could greatly impact their future. With these consequences in mind, defendants could do everything in their power to avoid a conviction, and gaining the legal guidance of a steadfast Plainview theft lawyer could be the first step in doing so.
Speaking With a Plainview Theft Attorney
A theft accusation is not a theft conviction, and therefore could be fought. There may be a way to lessen the severity of the charge or drop the charges entirely, and that may ensure you still have future opportunities for employment and education.
If you were charged with a theft offense, contact a Plainview theft lawyer to find out what you could do to fight the prosecution’s case against you. Take the first step in protecting your future and rights by consulting with us today.