If you're charged or have been arrested for Theft, the biggest concern is to try and keep a conviction off your record. As you'll see below, a Theft Conviction on your record lasts for the rest of your life; there is no drop off period. As your lawyer, we tailor our defense with that goal in mind: a Dismissal. Because if the case is dismissed, you're eligible for an expunction later on.
A person can be arrested or charged with theft if they take possession of an item that does not belong to them, and when they have no permission to take the item. There also must be the intent to deprive the owner of the item. An Experienced Austin Theft Lawyer will know the elements of a theft arrest, and the lawyer should be able to review the various options you might have, before getting into Court. We offer free consultation with a lawyer. Call Us Today.
NEW UPDATES IN THEFT STATUTES HAVE CHANGED THE VALUES DESIGNATING CERTIAN TEHFT OFFENSES. WE ARE UPDATING THE SITE WITHIN IN THE MONTH (OCTOBER 2015). Theft punishments in Austin, Travis County, are based on the value of what is stolen. That means that if a DVD Box Set is stolen from Target, which at the time of the theft cost $65.99, that theft would be a Class B Misdemeanor Theft, because the value is between $50-$500. But if a Plasma TV was stolen, valued at $1250 at the time, then it becomes a Class A misdemeanor, since the value is between $500-$1500. Over $1500 is a felony. An expereienced lawyer can often help argue down the value, thereby reducing the charge to a lesser theft.
Each Misdemeanor and Felony class has it's own set of Punishments for Theft. View our Sentencing page for more information. Practically speaking, Theft Punishments in Austin, if convicted, can range between fines, community service, probation, and jail time.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude is a term designated to offenses involving traits of honestly and trust. Theft is a Crime of Moral Turpitude. Crimes of Moral Turpitude are among the most commonly reported on criminal history background checks, and may cause several losses of rights in the community, including prohibiting a person from serving on jury duty, holding public offices, obtaining licensing and clearance in certain fields, obtaining Visa's for travel into other counties, obtaining loans and mortgages, and more.
If you have two theft priors, then the third one, at arrest, may be enhanced to a felony, regardless of the amount stolen. This is true whether the theft offense has been proven yet or not. It's a function and oversight of the "innocent until proven guilty" system, whereby the prior theft arrest offenses may be admissible while you contest the new Theft charge. For sure, the prosecuting lawyers may view the person's criminal arrest history, and almost always makes a higher offer -- which leads to more Jury Trials.
Organized Retail Theft, distinguished from common Retail Theft, is where a person intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of a total value of not less than $1,500 of stolen retail merchandise.
The Texas Criminal Penal Code Sec. 31.16. Organized Retail Theft indicates that a person commits an offense if he person intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of a total value of not less than $1,500 of stolen retail merchandise.
For individuals arrested for Organized Retail Theft the penalty is dependant on the value of property stolen, and is the same as typical Austin theft amounts as listed above.
Common Criminal Cases Involving Retail Theft Arrests: The most common Organized Retail Theft cases and Organized Retail Theft arrests involve shoplifting schemes where employees design a system by which they can take advantage of security loopholes at a retail store, or where an employee creates a pattern of shoplifting and theft over a period of time.
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Theft & Fraud Offenses