Laredo Theft Defense Lawyer
Hire a Laredo Theft Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Freedom
If you or a loved one has been accused of any kind of theft in Texas, you need a Laredo theft defense lawyer to defend your freedom. Theft crimes and their penalties vary depending on the circumstances of the theft, but what they have in common is serious consequences.
Because theft crimes are “crimes of moral turpitude,” convictions can result in a significant reduction of life opportunities for the accused. Convictions for a crime of moral turpitude often mean a more narrow scope of available job opportunities, disqualification from many forms of governmental relief and assistance, and even removal from immigration proceedings.
What is considered theft?
Theft is a broad category of crimes that encompasses a number of specific charges of varying severity. Essentially, if you knowingly and intentionally deprive someone of their property for any type of personal gain, no matter what method is used, it is theft. Although the severity of the charges will vary depending on both how the alleged theft was carried out and how much was allegedly stolen.
The definition of theft under Title 7, Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code dictates that “a person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of the property,” but continues to add tens of addendums to this statement. So, what are some actual crimes a person can commit that fall under the theft umbrella?
Types of theft crimes in Texas
Theft crimes come in many different forms, ranging from petty theft and shoplifting all the way to federal charges for embezzlement. Some of the charges that a theft defense lawyer defends include:
- Identity theft
- Possession of stolen property
- Insurance fraud
- Welfare fraud
Under the broad umbrella of theft crimes, there are also a broad array of penalties. Theft convictions can mean misdemeanor charges and a slap on the wrist, or serious federal charges that require federal criminal defense lawyers.
Penalties for theft in Texas
Penalties for theft will vary depending on the value of the property allegedly stolen. Ranges and classifications for theft crimes according to the Texas Penal code are as follows:
|Classification of Crime||Value|
|Class C misdemeanor||Property valued at less than $100|
|Class B misdemeanor||Property valued at between $100 – $750|
|Class A misdemeanor||Property valued at between $750 – $2,500|
|State jail felony||Property valued at between $2,500 – $30,000|
|Third degree felony||Property valued at between $30,000 – $150,000|
|Second degree felony||Property valued at between $150,000 – $300,000|
|First degree felony||Property valued at $300,000 or more|
Other than the amount allegedly stolen, charges will worsen based on the criminal history of the accused and the method of the alleged theft. If you or a loved one has been accused, don’t wait to find out how bad it is — call the best criminal defense attorney Laredo, TX has to offer, and begin building your defense today.
What is a potential defense of a theft crime?
Your criminal defense lawyer will first attempt to prove that you did not commit theft according to the statutory definition, or that you did not “unlawfully appropriate property with intent to deprive the owner of property.” There are a few ways to do that.
- Mistakes happen and to be convicted of theft crimes in Texas it must be proven that you knew that you were stealing.
- Lack of false pretenses mostly applies to fraud cases and involves proving that you did not misrepresent yourself for gain.
- Entrapment occurs when you are induced by another party for the purpose of committing a crime. If you were entrapped, then you are not the one who should be charged with theft.
- Theft under duress occurs when someone commits theft in response to a threat to their or their family’s wellbeing.
- Lack of knowledge can apply if you simply did not know that the goods were stolen.
There are many more ways in which an experienced criminal defense lawyer can defend his clients who were accused of theft, but your attorney’s defense strategies will depend entirely on the nature of your alleged theft. A determining factor in how you will be charged is how the allegedly stolen goods are valued. If it cannot be argued that you did not commit theft, your attorney will attempt to devalue the stolen goods in order to reduce the charges.
“Javier Guzman is a top-notch lawyer. If anyone is facing a case needing a criminal defense attorney, I would highly recommend Javier. I would trust him with my family. Someone who won’t back down and will take cases to trial, unlike most locals.”
– Sean Darvishi | Fellow Attorney
Charged with theft? You need an experienced Laredo theft defense lawyer to represent you.
Theft crimes, because of their wide range of classifications and punishments, require a specialized theft defense lawyer. Time is of the essence. Begin building your case as soon as you can, because the prosecution has already started building theirs against you.
Whether you have been accused of shoplifting, robbery, or embezzlement, Javier Guzman of Guzman Law Firm can help. He is a compassionate attorney to his clients and a relentless defender of justice. Defend your freedom by calling Guzman Law Firm at (956) 333-3977 or scheduling a consultation online today.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.