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Have you been arrested for a Theft Charge in Fort Worth, Texas?

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or anxious about what your theft case. It is completely normal to feel frustrated and afraid. Afraid you will lose your job. Afraid, you will go to jail. Afraid this theft arrest will be on your record for the rest of your life.

It is critical that your theft case be dismissed and expunged from your criminal record. A misdemeanor or felony theft conviction can make it very difficult to find a job. Many employers view theft and shoplifting convictions as serious as a felony conviction. It leads them to believe they cannot trust you as an employee.

First, we the crime of theft and different crimes that are closely related to theft under Texas law. It’s important to let an attorney help you along the way.

Let us first examine an overview of Texas theft laws:

Under Texas law, the crime of Theft is the act of taking another person’s property without their permission.

In general, the punishment for a theft crime varies depending upon the value of the stolen property. A conviction for theft in Texas could result in the following consequences:

  • Theft of property/services of a value under $100 could result in a Class C Misdemeanor conviction
  • Theft of property/services of a value of $100 – $750 could result in a Class B Misdemeanor conviction
  • Theft of property/services of a value of $750 – $2500 could result in a Class A Misdemeanor conviction
  • Theft of property/services of a value of $2500 – $30,000 could result in a State Jail Felony conviction
  • Theft of property/services of a value of $30,000 – $150,000 could result in a Third-Degree Felony conviction
  • Theft of property/services of a value of $150,000 – $300,000 could result in a Second-Degree Felony conviction
  • Theft of property/services of a value of $300,000 or more could result in a First-Degree Felony conviction

Whether charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, theft is serious and carries devastating long-term consequences. In addition to jail time and fines, a theft conviction may permanently limit your ability to obtain gainful employment. Under Texas law, shoplifting and many other theft crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude.

What is the Deferred Prosecution Program?

The Deferred Prosecution Program is a diversion program that allows certain theft offenses for admission. The program is designed specifically for first-time offenders with no prior criminal history. There is virtually no supervision involved in the program. It is designed to be a second chance to first-time offenders.

Applicants must not be older than 24 years of age, must not have had a previous juvenile adjudication or adult class b misdemeanor or above offense and must be able to pass a drug test. There are two tracks available under the Deferred Prosecution Program – Track A is the traditional DPP track and would apply to all theft and theft-related charges. Track A consists of an application, background investigation, orientation and passing of a drug test.

There is a strict 90-day deadline from the filing of the Texas Theft case that must be met to be considered for admission to the program.

A short summary of the DPP Program requirements include:

  • Fees
    • Track A fee = $125
  • Orientation – requires a parent or accountability partner to be present for the 2-hour orientation where paperwork is signed and finalized to begin the program
  • Length of Program
    • Misdemeanor Drug Crimes – 4 months
    • Felony Drug Crimes – 8 months
  • Drug Test

Eligible Drug Offense for Consideration of the Deferred Prosecution Program (DPP)

  1. Theft and theft of service, where the value is less than $30,000 (Misdemeanor – State Jail Felony)
  2. Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle (State Jail Felony)
  3. Burglary of a Building (excludes habitation)
  4. Burglary of a Coin Operated Machine
  5. Credit Card and Debit Card Abuse (State Jail Felony)
  6. Forgery (misdemeanor)
  7. Possession, manufacture, distribution of instrument to commit retail theft (misdemeanor)

What about other charges similar to Theft?

  • Robbery
  • Aggravated Robbery
  • Burglary of a Building
  • Burglary of a Habitation
  • Forgery
  • Fraudulent Use of Identifying Information
  • Theft by Check
  • Theft of Service
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • Welfare Fraud
  • Receiving Stolen Property

When studying Theft Crimes, it is critical to understand the legal distinction between theft, robbery and burglary.

If you’re not quite sure, you are definitely not alone. These three crimes are often lumped together – both in media and in our popular consciousness – so that a lot of people don’t really know what makes something a robbery versus a simple theft, or whether someone can be charged with burglary if they didn’t actually steal anything.

Below, we’re going to clarify the differences as defined in Texas law by detailing the legal definitions and explaining the penalties. Then we’ll discuss what you can do if you are facing charges for any of these offenses. It’s important to contact a theft attorney and we will answer all of your questions.

Theft

Theft is defined as unlawfully taking property of any kind from its owner, with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. If an owner does not give consent, or if an individual knowingly accepts stolen property, a charge of theft may apply.

Penalties can be enhanced if the offender was a public servant, government worker, or Medicare provider, or if the property owner was an elderly individual or nonprofit organization.

Theft charges also apply for theft of services, trade secrets, theft by check, unauthorized vehicle use, using certain instruments for retail theft, theft of financial information, cargo theft, and petroleum product theft.

Robbery

Robbery is an offense committed in the course of committing theft. Robbery is also committed with the intent to obtain or maintain control of any property taken in the theft.

The charge of robbery applies if an individual causes bodily injury to another person, or if the individual places another person in fear of bodily injury or death while trying to steal from them. The individual must act with knowledge, intent, or recklessness for the charge to apply.

Aggravated robbery occurs when an individual causes serious bodily injury to another person or uses or shows a deadly weapon during the robbery. It is also an enhancement to robbery charges if the alleged victim is older than age 65 or mentally, physically, or developmentally disabled.

Robbery is a second-degree felony offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Aggravated robbery is a first-degree felony offense punishable by a minimum sentence of 5 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Burglary

Burglary is an offense committed when an individual enters a habitation or building without the owner’s consent and with the intent of committing theft, assault, or a felony.

charge of burglary applies whether an individual conceals himself or herself inside a building with intent or enters and attempts to commit or commit theft, assault, or a felony. The individual can enter with any part of his or her body or with any object connected to his or her body for charges to apply.

Burglary penalties are a state jail felony for an offense committed in a non-habitation building.

A third-degree felony charge will apply if the burglary was committed in any commercial building that stores controlled substances or if the individual remained concealed inside the building in order to commit theft of a controlled substance.

They are a second-degree felony if committed in a habitation.

A first-degree felony charge will apply if the burglary was committed in a habitation and a felony other than felony theft was attempted or committed. Our crime attorney will guide you through the process.

Special provisions apply to burglary in the following circumstances:

  • Coin-operated or coin collection machines: Class A misdemeanor
  • Vehicles: Class A misdemeanor, state jail felony, or third-degree felony under various circumstances
  • Criminal trespass: various penalties based on the specific area entered without consent, and whether a handgun was carried by the offender

What to Do If You Face Charges Similar to Theft or Robbery? Our Attorney is Here to Help.

The best thing you can do is to get in contact with an attorney at our office as soon as charges are filed against you or you are arrested. When you do so, you can set up a free case review and initial consultation where we will go over the facts of your case with you and let you know what options are available to you.

The sooner you act, the better. Waiting provides the prosecution with more of a head start and may even prevent you from collecting or using some types of evidence.

Reach out to our attorney and we will protect your rights and reputation while we build the strongest possible defense against your charges.

If you have additional questions about your specific circumstances, we want to help you immediately with the answers to those questions.

Call The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC Now For a Free Case Analysis

817-877-5200

What to Do If You Face Charges Similar to Theft or Robbery? Our Attorney is Here to Help.

The best thing you can do is to get in contact with an attorney at our office as soon as charges are filed against you or you are arrested. When you do so, you can set up a free case review and initial consultation where we will go over the facts of your case with you and let you know what options are available to you.

The sooner you act, the better. Waiting provides the prosecution with more of a head start and may even prevent you from collecting or using some types of evidence.

Reach out to our attorney and we will protect your rights and reputation while we build the strongest possible defense against your charges.

If you have additional questions about your specific circumstances, we want to help you immediately with the answers to those questions.

Call The Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, PLLC Now For a Free Case Analysis

817-877-5200

About the Author:

After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a Criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. He has been named one of the 3 Best DUI Lawyers in Fort Worth, recognized by ExpertiseNational Trial LawyersAvvo, and others, and he is Lead Counsel rated.

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