Houston Theft Attorney Helping You Fight Theft Charges
Theft is defined as the taking of someone else’s property without their consent. According to Title 7, Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code, theft can encompass a broad range of charges, from shoplifting and larceny to extortion and embezzlement. If convicted, the penalty may be as small as a fine or as large as life imprisonment in the most extreme cases. Hiring an experienced Houston theft attorney can be an incredibly important decision in your life.
Theft Charges Information Center
The process of fighting a theft charge can be long and difficult. You may need help talking to the police once you are arrested, negotiating with prosecutors, or deciding whether to take the stand at trial. You need an experienced Houston theft attorney like Lisa Shapiro Strauss, who has the expertise, skills and dedication to guide you through the process.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss understands the criminal justice system from both sides of the aisle because she spent two years working as a prosecutor before opening her own practice as a criminal defense attorney. With her on your side, it can mean the difference between a guilty or not guilty verdict.
How Can A Theft Conviction Affect Your Life? Theft Penalties Explained
Your life can be deeply impacted in many ways if you are convicted of theft. The charges for theft in Texas are as follows:
- 1st Degree Felony
- 2nd Degree Felony
- 3rd Degree Felony
- State Jail Felony
- Class A Misdemeanor
- Class B Misdemeanor
- Class C Misdemeanor
Learn the differences for each of the Criminal Penalties for Theft in Harris County. They range from fines of $500 to imprisonment of up to 99 years.
In addition to legal penalties, a felony or misdemeanor conviction can make it difficult to secure a loan, get a job or find a place to live. It is important to be informed about your rights, the possible consequences, and what you should do to protect yourself if you find yourself accused of or charged with any type of theft.
The Different Types of Theft Crimes in Texas Include:
- Burglary: Texas law classifies burglary as entering a building without the owner’s permission with the intent to commit a felony, theft or assault.
- Fraud: Obtaining property, services or money through deception qualifies as fraud. This can include identity theft, credit card fraud and check forgery.
- General theft: General theft is the act of taking property that belongs to someone else without his or her permission.
- Possession of Stolen Property: Buying or accepting property that you know to be stolen also qualifies as a theft crime in Texas.
- Robbery: Intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury, or fear of bodily injury, during the course of committing theft.
- Shoplifting: This is defined as deliberately taking products from a store without paying the full value of them.
- Theft by Check: Paying for an item with a check when the checking account does not have sufficient funds to cover the amount or the account is closed qualifies as theft by check.
The Stages of a Theft Case.
Having good legal advice and aggressive representation through the three stages of your theft case can make all the difference in your chances of a successful outcome. No matter how minor the charge, you need an attorney who is well-versed in criminal defense and understands how the prosecution will build its case.
A very common mistake is talking to the police without a lawyer present, and it is a mistake that can affect the rest of your defense. As a result, you need legal representation before you talk to the police, no matter what “friendly” officers might tell you.
There are three main stages to your case to a theft case. An experienced lawyer like Lisa Shapiro Strauss will investigate your case, re-interviewing witnesses, and assessing the evidence that the police and prosecutors have brought against you. Next, she will formulate a strategy based on the exact circumstances of your case. And finally, court appearances, where you will absolutely want a tenacious attorney to negotiate on your behalf.
Answers to Your Theft Charge Questions
Having a felony or misdemeanor conviction in Texas can make it difficult to secure a loan, get a job, or find a place to live. In addition to theft, prior convictions can also have an impact on sentencing in DWI, DUI and domestic violence cases. They can even work against you in civil litigation cases, where a prior conviction can be used in an attempt to cast doubts on your honesty and character. Read more about how prior convictions affect Houston theft cases.
After the reporting of the theft, the police will conduct an investigation. They will then arrest a suspect and conduct an arraignment, where the suspect will be formally charged with the theft. There will then be pretrial hearings, which will lead to an offer to the defense attorney from the prosecutor. If necessary, a trial follows, and if the defendant loses, an appeal may be possible. Read more details about the stages of a theft case, and how an experienced theft attorney can help you navigate through them.
There are a few reasons that a theft case might be dismissed in Harris County. Lack of probable cause, an illegal search by the police, and insufficient or lost evidence are some of the most common reasons for a dismissal. A pretrial diversion is also a possible means of a theft case dismissal. Experienced theft attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss can help determine whether a dismissal may be possible for you. Read more about getting a theft case dismissed in Houston.
Houston Theft Attorney Lisa Shapiro Strauss Can Help.
Lisa Shapiro Strauss has represented men, women and young adults accused of crimes in Houston, Texas, for over 15 years. In addition, Strauss draws on her experience as a former prosecutor when evaluating cases and formulating defense strategies. She understands how the prosecution will approach the case, which gives her unique perspective when it comes to presenting a sound defense. If you need assistance from a Houston theft lawyer, contact us today.