Texas law provides for various degrees of theft offenses, ranging from simple Class C misdemeanors that are punishable by a fine to felonies of the first degree, which can result in life in prison.
Although theft accusations can arise from a number of situations, it is important to take these allegations seriously. These offenses are commonly known as crimes of dishonesty or crimes of moral turpitude, which can negatively affect an individual’s ability to be admitted into certain colleges and graduate school programs, in addition to an inability to pursue certain professions or apply for certain jobs.
Even if you were wrongfully accused of theft or you accidentally walked out of a store with an item in your bag and were charged with shoplifting, it is imperative to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas to fight these allegations against you.
Theft Offenses Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX
If you have been accused of committing theft in Dallas, attorney Richard McConathy will make every effort to help identify mitigating factors and defenses to have your charges reduced or even dismissed.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Theft Crimes in Dallas
Theft offenses in Dallas can include any of the following:
- Theft by false pretext,
- Conversion by a bailee,
- Theft from a person,
- Acquisition of property by theft,
- Embezzlement, and
- Receiving or concealing stolen property.
The most commonly charged theft offenses in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex can include:
According to Tex. Penal Code § 31.03, an individual can be charged with shoplifting or retail theft if they unlawfully take a property from a store or merchant with the intent to deprive the store, shop, or merchant of the property without their consent. Depending on the value of the property allegedly stolen, shoplifting can result in a Class C, B or A misdemeanor, state jail felony, felony of the third degree, a felony of the second degree, or felony of the first-degree conviction.
As defined in section 31.07 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle if they intentionally or knowingly operate another person’s car, motor vehicle, boat, or airplane without their consent. This offense is also commonly known as auto theft or carjacking. This offense can result in a conviction for a state jail felony.
An individual can be charged with robbery under Tex. Penal Code § 29.02 if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause injury to another person during the commission of a theft offense. An alleged offender can also be charged with this offense if they intentionally or knowingly threaten another person with injury or death or cause them to fear injury or death during the commission of a theft offense. This offense can generally result in a felony of a second-degree conviction.
According to section 29.03 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with aggravated robbery if they commit a robbery offense and:
- Seriously injure another person,
- Commit the robbery with a deadly weapon, or
- Commit the robbery offense against an elderly or disabled person.
This offense can generally result in a felony of the first-degree conviction.
Dallas Theft Offense Penalties
Basic statutory penalties for misdemeanor and felony offenses are defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. However, these punishments can vary, depending on whether the victim was disabled or elderly, whether a weapon was used during the commission of the offense, the value of the property, and whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal convictions.
- A conviction for a Class C misdemeanor theft offense can result in a fine up to $500.
- A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor theft offense can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or fine up to $2,000.
- A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor theft offense can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or fine up to $4,000.
- A conviction for a state jail felony theft offense can result in a jail sentence from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the third degree theft offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to five years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the second degree theft offense can result in a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
- A conviction for a felony of the first degree theft offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from five years to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Dallas Theft Crimes Civil Penalties
Under the Texas Theft Liability Act, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 134.005, anyone who is a victim of a theft offense can recover actual damages, punitive damages up to $1,000, court costs, and attorneys fees from the individual who allegedly committed a theft offense against them.
Often, department stores and large retailers, such as Walmart and Target, will send an individual who allegedly shoplifted from the merchant a demand letter for payment or threaten to sue the alleged shoplifter for the amount of the items stolen. Although these threats are usually not acted upon, it is important to hire an experienced Dallas theft attorney to advise you on how to handle the matter and to defend any additional criminal accusation that may arise from the matter.
Resources in Dallas for Theft Crimes
Texas Penal Code –Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code defines of the theft offenses in Texas and the penalties for committing such crimes as theft, shoplifting and auto theft.
Kleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous – CASA is a national organization for individuals who suffer from an addictive-compulsive behavior to counsel others suffering from the same type of behavior in order to help these individuals find effective ways to treat their addiction.
National Association for Shoplifting Prevention – NASP is a national non-profit organization that aims to prevent shoplifting through research and exploration of new shoplifting prevention methods. Additionally, the organization works with government officials to effectively develop programs aimed at stopping shoplifting.
Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Theft Crimes | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact us for a consultation about your alleged theft offense throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas criminal attorney who will fight the allegations against you and make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your particular situation.