If you are accused of criminal theft, the government has the burden of proving you guilty as charged. Theft defense lawyer Jason Trumpler in Austin, TX, can help you avoid a theft conviction and related consequences.
At Trumpler Law, we focus on Texas criminal defense law exclusively, and our record of results is a testament to our performance in the courtroom. Please contact our office online or call (512) 457-5200 to schedule a consultation.
What Constitutes Theft?
The Texas penal code defines theft as unlawful appropriation with intent to deprive the owner of property. “Depriving,” is withholding property from the rightful owner in specific ways:
- The deprivation must be permanent or for such an extended period that the rightful owner loses a large portion of value and enjoyment from the property.
- Deprivation may include refusal to return property unless in exchange for payment of a reward or other compensation.
- If property is disposed of in a manner that makes it unlikely the owner will recover it, the owner is considered deprived of the property.
Depending upon the value of the property in question and other factors, theft can be a misdemeanor or felony charge. If the accused has a prior conviction, the classification may be changed and the consequences increased. There are three classifications of misdemeanor theft:
*(or property is driver's license/I.D. card)
||Value of Stolen Property/Service
|| Potential Penalties
||Less than $50
||$2,000 Fine, 180 Day in Jail
||$4,000 Fine, 1 Year in Jail
For property values of $1,500 but less than $20,000 (or for specific property types, such as a firearm) the charge is State Jail Felony Theft. The potential punishment is severe, including incarceration for up to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.
There are three categories of Texas felony theft:
||Stolen Property Value
|| Potential Penalties
| Third Degree
|| $20,000 - $99,999
|| 2-10 years in prison, $10,000 Fine
||2-20 year sentence, $10,000 Fine
||$200,000 or more
|| 5-99 years in prison, $10,000 Fine
The Texas Theft Liability Act adds potential civil court penalties onto criminal theft charges. An adult (or parent of a minor) can be held liable for a victim’s monetary losses. If a plaintiff sues and wins, he or she is entitled to collect actual damages for the value of stolen property in addition to a penalty award and recovery of legal fees and costs. This applies both ways, however: the defendant’s legal fees and costs are covered by the plaintiff if the suit proves unsuccessful.
If you are accused of theft, there are many reasons to defend yourself. The help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can prove invaluable.
Stand With Trumpler Law
You can count on Jason Trumpler to explore every possible defense on your behalf, and to hold the state accountable for questionable accusations and evidence. Our office will promptly request all exculpatory evidence, or material that is favorable to you. Upon request by your defense lawyer, the prosecutor has a legal duty to seek out, review, and provide this material. If you have been charged with any type of theft, we can help.
Are you facing theft charges or an accusation of another property crime? Please contact us online or call (512) 457-5200 today to schedule an appointment.