Houston Theft & Fraud Charges Defense Lawyer
In Texas, theft charges can run the gamut from a class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony, based on the value of what was allegedly taken, whether force was used and whether you entered someone’s home. You could face the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket or a charge that can land you in prison for the rest of your life.
The Texas theft statute is very broad. The theft statute covers many types of criminal conduct involving the misuse of another’s property. All of these crimes however, have one thing in common — that is, the taking of the property without the owner’s consent. Examples of crimes that are covered by the Texas theft statute include shoplifting, writing bad checks or hot checks, receiving stolen property, possessing stolen property and auto theft.
Even a minor theft conviction can have a devastating impact on your future. Do not make the mistake of believing that a misdemeanor theft charge is not a serious situation. In my 25 years of criminal law practice, both as a prosecutor and as a criminal defense lawyer, I have heard accused people say, “It’s just a misdemeanor,” or, “It is only a shoplifting charge.” Theft cases are crimes of moral turpitude: They are crimes that reflect on one’s character. Shoplifting and the other theft charges, because they are crimes of moral turpitude, can have lifelong and far reaching consequences. Any misdemeanor or felony conviction for a theft charge will result in a permanent criminal record, even if you receive probation. Since employers routinely conduct background checks, a theft conviction will make it much harder for you to find a good job.
Theft cases can become more serious crimes with the danger of harsher sentences depending on the facts and circumstances under which the alleged theft occurred. If you are accused of entering someone’s home with the intention of committing theft, you can be charged with burglary, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Theft can also become a felony if it is alleged that you used force to take an item or money. Theft committed with a weapon is aggravated robbery, a felony that can result in a lifetime prison sentence.
I’m R. Todd Bennett, a Houston criminal defense lawyer. I am board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. I represent people facing all types of theft and theft related charges in Texas, including:
- Theft by writing bad checks or “hot” checks
- Theft by fraud
- Credit card theft
- Credit card abuse
- Aggravated robbery
Schedule An Attorney Consultation
If you face shoplifting, theft, robbery or burglary charges, contact me, Houston criminal defense lawyer R. Todd Bennett, for an initial consultation about your case.