Do You Need An Austin Theft Lawyer?
In Austin, Texas, various criminal offenses constitute theft. The penalties for a criminal conviction can be moderate to severe, depending on the value of the theft. Considering your future and freedom are hanging on the balance, hiring an Austin theft lawyer should be at the top of your priority list. Having a theft lawyer attorney can make a significant difference and improve the outcome of the conviction.
What is Theft?
The Texas law breaks down theft into three key elements:
- The accused has taken property without obtaining consent from the owner.
- The accused intended to take property from its owner permanently.
- Taking the property must have been unlawful.
Most importantly, it is important to understand that there is no minimum property value to qualify as theft under Texas law. You can be convicted regardless of where you stole $2,000 or $2 worth of candy.
Types of Theft in Austin, TX
The state of Texas has one statute that addresses theft offenses. But there are seven degrees of theft charges that the offender can face. The classification of these degrees largely relies on the value of the item stolen:
- Class C misdemeanor – The value of the item stolen is less than $100. If convicted, you face a fine of not more than $500.
- Class B misdemeanor – The value of the item is between $100 to $750. You could spend up to 180 days in the county jail or a fine not exceeding $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanor – Items exceeding $750 but less than $2,500 in value fall under the Class A misdemeanor. The penalty is one year in county jail or a fine of not more than $4,000.
- Third-degree felony – Theft cases involving items valued at more than $2,500 are a felony in the state of Texas. The need to have an Austin theft lawyer to represent you becomes even more critical at this point. Under the third-degree felony, the value of the stolen items doesn’t exceed $30,000, and the penalty if convicted is 180 days to 2 years in a state jail or a fine of not more than $10,000.
If the value of the stolen items is more than $100,000 but less than $200,000, you face up to 20 years in prison or a $10,000 fine. If the value of the items exceeds $300,000, you stand to face up to 99 years in state prison or a fine not exceeding $10,000.
These punishments can be enhanced if you have previous convictions or are charged with stealing a firearm or other times.
There are many possibilities that could affect the outcome of the conviction. Having an Austin theft lawyer can help you understand the consequences and improve the chances of getting a favorable outcome.
Theft and Robbery – What’s the Difference?
Under Texas law, there is a big difference between theft and robbery cases. Theft is considered a lesser crime with lesser penalties.
Robbery is an aggravated form of theft. For you to be charged with robbery, you must meet all the elements of theft, and you must have taken property directly from the owner, against their will, while using force, threats, violence, and intimidation.
For a crime of theft of items worth $500, you could face up to six months in prison. In comparison, the penalty for the robbery of the same item is up to four and half years. If you carry a weapon during the process, the aggravated robbery charge will carry a minimum of 5 years.
The Lifetime Repercussions of a Theft Conviction
The consequences of a theft conviction don’t end with serving your sentence or paying a fine. Having a felony on your record can have life-long effects. It could make it challenging to find stable employment or even premises to rent.
You might also have trouble applying for a loan or going back to school. Having an experienced theft lawyer in Austin can provide you with the representation you need to fight the charges and reduce the effect of having such a conviction on your record.
Get Solid Representation from an Experienced Austin Theft Lawyer
When facing robbery or theft charges, you need reliable and solid legal representation. As legal experts in this field, we can help you in the following ways:
Protect your rights
The first task is to ensure your rights are protected. The law enforcement officers should have followed all the proper procedures for arrest and evidence collection. A qualified theft attorney will also help you with the seriousness of the situation and the options that are available for you.
Come up with a defense
If the case goes to trial, it is the job of the theft lawyer to look at the evidence and come up with an appropriate defense and evidence to support your case. A strong law firm will have the capacity to handle even the most challenging cases, analyze the evidence, find loopholes and defend you ferociously and protect you from steeper penalties. Some common defenses include:
- You had a right to the property.
- You were young at the time of the offense.
- You were under the influence or intoxicated at the time of the offense.
Don’t wait until it is too late to hire a qualified Austin theft lawyer. Give us a call today, and we will do everything possible to get you the best possible outcome of the case.
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Stephen is Great, Great , Lawyer!! He give you weekly updates on not just your case but also on what’s going on with his firm as well!!! Stephen is also very communicative and very understanding on any situation!! I would hands down Refer Stephen to anyone with any situation!!! Great job Stephen words can’t describe what you have done for me!!!!