Fort Worth Theft Arrests Lawyer
The first thing to do would be to get out of jail or to make bond, either by posting a cash bail or hiring a bondsman. Then they need to get a Fort Worth theft attorney as soon as possible, who has expertise in theft cases; an experienced attorney can look into any challenges of the facts of the case or any challenges to the legal procedures to mitigate the punishment. If there are no defenses and a guilty plea is inevitable, an attorney can advocate for diversion programs or ways to possibly get a dismissal so that the person doesn’t have a record of theft or can possibly get the theft arrest case erased, expunged or sealed from their record.
What Are The Potential Penalties Associated With Misdemeanor And Felony Theft Charges?
A Class C misdemeanor theft is punishable by up to a $500 fine but no time in jail, so it’s just the same level as a traffic ticket. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. That covers property in the value of more than $100 and less than $750. If the value of the property is more than $750 but less than $2,500, it is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. With a value of over $2,500, then it becomes a state jail felony, which is from $2,500 to $30,000 in value and is punishable from 180 days to two years in a state jail and a $10,000 fine. This also includes theft of less than two head of sheep, swine or goats.
The penal code states that regardless of value if property is stolen from the person of another, it’s called theft from person. An example would be a pickpocket, which would be, under Texas law, theft from person. That’s a state jail felony; or if it’s stolen from a grave, that’s also a state jail felony. So getting into somebody’s grave or coffin and stealing something is a state jail felony, regardless of the value; or if someone steals a firearm or a gun, that’s also a state jail felony, regardless of the value. If the value of the property is greater than $30,000 but less than $150,000, then it’s a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine or if it’s cattle, horses or exotic livestock with a value of less than $150,000 or more than 10 head of sheep, swine or goats.
It can become a 2nd degree felony if the value of the property is over $150,000 but less than $300,000. A 2nd degree felony is punishable by up to two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine; and finally, if the value of the appropriated property is over $300,000, then it’s a 1st degree felony, which is punishable by five years to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Then there may be other situations where it’s a more serious offense, such as if it’s stolen from an elderly individual or a nonprofit organization. It becomes more complicated in the sense that there are factors that can make the punishment more severe.
How Does It Impact The Case If A Theft Occurs With The Use Of A Weapon or Firearm?
The case would then become a robbery. So if you combine theft with some other criminal activity, then you are looking at the more serious level of a robbery offense. If someone commits theft but places another person in fear of bodily injury, such as if you brandish your fist and say, “You better give me your wallet, or I’m going to punch you,” that could be considered robbery, which is a 2nd degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine.
If you use a deadly weapon, such as a firearm, a club, a knife or anything that could cause serious bodily harm, death or injury, to threaten someone or if you show it while you are stealing from someone, then that’s aggravated robbery. For example, if someone goes into a store with a gun and robs the clerk, that’s aggravated robbery, but there are many situations that could less frequently also constitute aggravated robbery. If you cause serious bodily injury while stealing from someone that is also aggravated robbery. Aggravated robbery is a 1st degree felony punishable by five to 99 years to life and potentially a $10,000 fine.