Facing Theft Charges in Houston?
The Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. is an experienced Houston criminal defense firm that can protect your rights and fight to preserve your reputation no matter what the evidence against you may be. Call us as soon as possible to start building your defense against any kind of theft related charge that you are up against. Whether you have been formally charged or still under investigation, the police and prosecutors are already building their case against you. We will start working with you immediately to begin protecting you with a experienced Theft Attorney Houston.
What is “Theft?”
“Theft” is defined as the unlawful appropriation or taking of another’s property with the intent of depriving the owner of the property.
What are the different punishments for “Theft”?
Theft charges vary, in terms of punishment ranges, depending on the amount or value of the items that were taken.
UTheft Punishments – As of September 1, 2015:
Theft Under $100 – Class C Misdemeanor – Up to a $500 fine
Theft $100-$750 – Class B Misdemeanor – Up to 6 months in Jail and up to a $2,000 fine
Theft $750-$2,500 – Class A Misdemeanor – Up to a year in Jail and up to a $4,000 fine
Theft $2,500-$30,000 – State Jail Felony – 6 months to 2 years in State Jail and up to a $10,000 fine
Theft $30,000-$150,000 – Third Degree Felony – 2 to 10 years in TDC and up to a $10,000 fine
Theft $150,000-$300,000 – Second Degree Felony – 2 to 20 years in TDC and up to a $10,000 fine
Why is it so important to keep a “Theft” charge off my record?
Many people charged with theft don’t understand the seriousness of what they are being charged with. Theft charges vary, in terms of punishment ranges, depending on the amount or value of the items that were taken.
In addition to the possible punishment ranges associated with the charges, there are much more serious repercussions from being charged with theft. Theft is considered a crime of moral turpitude and many employers take a theft charge more seriously than having a DWI, drug charge, assault, and other charges on your record. This is because employee theft is a big problem for retailers. Having a theft charge on your record will keep you from being able to find a job, especially when the market is bad and there is a lot of competition for the same jobs. Many fast food chains and retailers will not hire you with a theft charge on your record.
Additionally, having a theft charge can keep you from finding an apartment. Many potential clients call our office to help them after they are denied for an apartment. Oftentimes, they have to settle for less desirable living arrangements in areas that aren’t very safe. Having a theft charge can also affect your credit rating, keeping you from being able to finance a home or car. If you are not a citizen, a theft charge may also keep you from becoming a naturalized citizen and cause you to be deported. Theft convictions can also be used to enhance minor theft charges that occur later on. I’ve had clients facing 2-10 years in the penitentiary for shoplifting an item valued at less than $20.00.
A simple mistake or lapse in judgement can have lifelong consequences. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone gets a second chance. If you are charged with theft, make sure you hire an attorney who will fight to keep it from going on your record. There are many ways we can beat theft charges even if they have video surveillance of you.
Our experienced staff has effectively represented countless people who have been accused of theft offenses and can provide you with an aggressive Houston Theft Attorney to represent you. Mr. Nguyen is always ready to present a vigorous defense against any felony or misdemeanor theft charge.
What are the other types of “Theft” charges?
Theft charges have many different forms if certain other elements exists. These charges include:
- Auto theft / Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
- Grand larceny
- Employee theft
- And others
How can I beat a “Theft” charge?
There are many ways we can beat theft cases. You have to remember that the State of Texas has the burden of proof. That means that they must prove each and every element of the theft offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes that you took something and that your intention for taking it was for depriving the owner of the item. Sometimes a child placing an item into your basket without you knowing or an emergency happening and you accidentally leave the store with something. There are many instances where an innocent action or inaction can lead to criminal charges. Our office has handled many different theft cases and have successfully raised many different defenses relating to theft charges that have resulted in dismissals even with video surveillance from the store.
Our staff understands that some people accused of theft are sometimes dealing with additional problems in their lives such as divorce, unemployment, substance abuse, or mental illness. Any of these circumstances can be considered as mitigating factors and can often be used to negotiate a reduced charge or sentence in exchange for treatment or counseling. In other situations, we will contact the complainant or witnesses to discuss restitution or alternative punishments in light of the personal situation of the accused. The staff at the Law Office of Henry K. Nguyen, P.C. will investigate any defenses that could result in your case being dismissed.
Additionally, beating a theft charge doesn’t necessarily always mean a dismissal. Keeping the charge from ever being seen by employers, police, or the public is another way of successfully defending these cases. There are many vehicles to achieve this result, so contact our office today and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney that specializes in theft cases.