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Accused of Theft Crimes in Dallas, Texas?
Texas considers theft a crime of moral turpitude. Convictions for theft-related charges have damaging repercussions. Theft charges can remain on your criminal record for years, destroying your employment, housing, and educational opportunities. The penalties for theft crimes are harsh and the majority of those convicted on theft charges spend decades behind bars.
If you or someone you love is facing charging of theft you need to seek legal representation immediately. Gallian Defense Firm represents clients who are facing serious charges, including theft. All theft-related accusations are serious. You need a confident criminal defense lawyer and solid defense to beat these charges.
What is a Crime of Moral Turpitude?
Texas law defines crimes of moral turpitude as illegal actions that were intentionally, methodically, and deliberately performed. These crimes are viewed in a significantly harsher light than accidental crimes by the state, government, and society.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude Involve One or More of The Following Elements:
- Fraud Schemes
Theft is considered a crime of turpitude is because the circumstances of the crime generally involve one or more of these elements.
How Does Texas Define Theft?
Taking Property That an Individual Believes is Stolen Texas law defines theft as obtaining the property of another individual without their consent. Circumstances vary for each case, but generally obtaining property is considered unlawful when any of the following criteria are met.
- Without Permission from Owner of the Property
- Receiving an Item That anIndividual is Aware Was Stolen
- It is also deemed theft if an individual uses coercion or deception to obtain an item or service. An example of this could be the enticement of a minor child, disabled, or inebriated person to sell something. This is because these individuals are legally incapable of providing effective consent.
What is the Difference between Robbery, Burglary, and Theft?
The terms robbery, theft, and burglary are often used interchangeably but have different meanings. Robbery and burglary are actions involved in committing theft.
Robbery involves using force or intimidation to steal another person’s property. The degree of force and extent of injuries are determining factors for the severity of penalties that may result from this crime.
Burglary involves breaking into another person’s home, vehicle, or other property to commit a theft. If you are facing burglary charges you can read more about the definition, types, and penalties of burglary here.
Are Larceny and Theft the Same Thing?
Yes, and no. Larceny is generally a more specific term that refers to the theft of physical goods. The term theft encompasses all types of stealing, including money, property, services, etc.
Is it Considered Stealing if I Return the Item?
Unfortunately, yes you can still be charged with theft if you steal an item and then later return it. In the eyes of the law, returning the item does not negate the fact that you initially stole it.
However, if you did return the stolen item this may be favorable for your defense case. The prosecution and/or the jury may be more sympathetic to these circumstances.
What are the Different Types of Theft?
There are several different types of theft-related accusations that an individual can face.
The Most Common Theft Charges Include:
- Petty Theft
- Grand Theft
- Receiving Stolen Property
How Bad Is Receiving Stolen Property?
Receiving stolen property is a serious crime that should not be taken lightly. Many clients are unaware that in the eyes of the law, receiving an item that you know to be stolen is equal to theft. This means that these charges are punishable by the same standard.
Is Writing a Hot Check the Same as Theft by Check?
A bad check, also known as a hot check, is a check written by an individual who is aware that their account does not have sufficient funds available. This happens innocently in most cases, for example, an individual needs to buy important items for their family. Those who are charged with writing hot checks typically have an honest intention to pay the bank back for the overdraft.
Theft by check is a more severe crime because of the intent of the assailant. Theft by check occurs when an individual writes a bad check with the intention to steal products or services. Theft by check occurs when a check is written for an account that does not exist and/or for a bank of which the individual has no account.
What Does the Theft of Trade Secrets Mean?
Theft of a trade secret is the accusation that an individual stole, communicated, or transmitted an organization’s trade secrets. This is information that is valuable to the company or entity and not legally permitted to be shared.
This is a serious allegation that can result in up to 10 years in prison. Penalties are significantly worse if the trade secrets are property of a government agency.
What is Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle?
Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is a state jail felony. Unauthorized use is defined by knowing operating any motor vehicle that belongs to another individual without their permission. This includes automobiles, airplanes, boats, motorcycles, etc.
What is Forgery?
Forgery is the allegation that an individual altered or depicted another person, using their signature, handwriting, printing, or other means of recording information for criminal gain.
The majority of these cases involve forging or altering important legal documents. These cases are penalized as state felony charges.
Examples of Serious Charges Include the Forgery of:
- Security Agreements
- Credit Cards
Penalties for these crimes are determined by the amount of money stolen or the value of the fraudulent products and/services.
What if I am Facing Charges for Embezzlement?
An embezzlement is a form of theft that is usually associated with the misappropriation of money. For example, an individual is guilty of embezzlement when they steal small amounts of money over a long period of time from their employer.
These cases generally involve large amounts of money, and a conviction could result in decades behind bars. You must contact Gallian Firm immediately if you are facing charges of embezzlement.
What is Extortion?
Extortion, also known as blackmail, is a theft crime defined by using threats of revealing an individual’s information for financial gain.
The severity of penalties for extortion depends on the severity and nature of the threats made to the victim.
Are Some Types of Theft Worse Than Others?
Texas does penalize some cases of theft more severely than others, depending on the demographics of the victim, and/or circumstance of the crime. One example of a special case is when a public official uses their status to commit theft.
Other Severe Special Cases Include:
- Theft from the Government
- Theft from a Nonprofit Organization
- Theft from an Elderly Person
These crimes are punished more harshly than general theft charges, resulting in harsher convictions with longer prison sentences.
What Are the Penalties for Theft?
The severity of penalties for theft-related charges is determined by the amount of money or value of the property that was stolen. These charges from Class C misdemeanors (less than $100) to 1st-Degree felony charges (over $300,000).
Aside from prison time and excessive fines, a conviction would also destroy credibility in your professional and personal life. This could destroy your family, future, and livelihood.
How is Credit and/or Debit Card Abuse Defined?
There are several circumstances in which an individual could face charges for credit or debit card abuse, including:
- Stealing a Credit/Debit Card
- Knowingly Buying a Stolen Card
- Selling Another Individual’s Card
You can also be charged with credit/debit card abuse for possessing an invalid, stolen, or fabricated card with the intention to use it.
Can I Be Convicted of Theft Without Proof?
Yes, you can be convicted for theft, even if no paper evidence exists. There are several other methods that the prosecution may use, including witness testimony and circumstantial evidence to push for a conviction.
It is imperative that you reach out to Gallian Firm immediately to begin developing your defense strategy. Every case is different. Gregg Gallian will need to build a case based on the unique circumstances surrounding your case.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Theft Charges?
Theft charges are serious and without proper legal representation, you will likely suffer harsh and lasting penalties. Beating these charges will require the assistance of a bold, competent, and experienced criminal defense attorney.
Employing a criminal defense attorney is your only hope for having these charges dropped or lessened. A good defense strategy can potentially keep you out of prison. You may even have the opportunity to have these charges removed from your record.
What Defense Strategies Could Be Used for Theft?
There are several strategies that can be effectively used as part of a criminal defense strategy. Common strategies include:
- The defendant did not commit the crime and/or theft did not occur.
- The defendant made an innocent mistake and did not intentionally commit theft and/or knowingly come into possession of a stolen good.
- The defendant honestly believed that the property was rightfully theirs.
- If the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol they may not have been coherent in their intention to steal.
- The defendant borrowed an item and forgot to return it.
- The defendant was a victim of entrapment and was forced to commit the crime.
Your defense strategy will be determined by the unique circumstances surrounding your case. The only way to determine the best route of defense is to contact Gallian Firm for a free consultation.
Gregg Gallian is a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in theft crimes and has helped hundreds of clients beat these charges.
Why is Gallian Defense Firm the Best Lawyer for My Case?
Gallian Defense Firm is the best choice for anyone facing theft charges in the Dallas, TX area. Gregg Gallian has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience that he developed from years served as a state prosecuting attorney. He knows all the tactics and loopholes that the prosecution will attempt to use. He also knows how to build a solid defense plan, discredit witnesses, and have evidence dismissed in court.
Gallian understands that people make mistakes and fights hard to give his clients another chance at life. Contact Gallian Defense Firm today for more information or to view a list of his specialty areas of practice.
How Do I Schedule a Free Consultation?
You deserve a defense lawyer who knows the law and genuinely cares about his clients. Gregg Gallian is the best lawyer you could have in your corner. It is never too late to get Gallian fighting for your case,.
Reach out to Gallian Firm today to schedule a free consultation or case review today by email at [email protected] or by calling 214-432-8860.