Have you been charged with theft? You may be feeling anxious about the charges, but it’s important to stay calm and avoid making any decisions or statements that could negatively affect the outcome of your case. Dealing with the criminal justice system can be confusing and overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been charged with a crime before.
A skilled Fort Worth theft lawyer can provide valuable guidance throughout the legal process, protect your rights and interests, and fight for a fair outcome in your case. At Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC, we understand how stressful it is to face criminal charges. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about theft charges and help you navigate through the next steps of your case.
Types of Theft
When you’ve been arrested, charged with theft, and are facing a criminal proceeding, the stress can be monumental. It may be hard to believe, but all hope is not lost. Find an experienced lawyer who handles theft cases and heed their advice.
In the state of Texas, theft is a catch-all term that covers a wide range of crimes. Some of these include:
- Identity theft
- Grand theft auto
What to Do When Facing Theft Charges
If you’ve been accused of any kind of theft, there are several actions you can immediately take to protect yourself.
- Don’t talk to the police without a lawyer present. It’s your right to keep quiet until your attorney arrives. Even if you’re completely innocent, do not let the Fort Worth police intimidate or confuse you into saying something that might be misconstrued as an admission of guilt. Their job is to get a confession out of you, and they are well-trained at it. If you feel like talking, wait for your theft lawyer.
- Gather witnesses and evidence. If there were witnesses who saw what happened around the time of the alleged theft, make sure their contact information is taken down in case they need to testify on your behalf at some point in the future. Make sure that all evidence is kept intact and that nothing is altered in any way, and call your lawyer as soon as possible so we can advise you on how to proceed based on the specifics of your situation.
- Find a theft lawyer who has experience with cases like yours. Ideally, this would be a lawyer who has dealt with theft allegations in the past. This way they will already have some strategies in place for handling cases like yours.
Theft by Deception
Sometimes theft isn’t outright stealing. “Theft by deception” is a legal term used to describe the crime of defrauding another person of money or property by using lies and deceit.
The key to theft by deception is that the person accused intended to commit the fraud. Otherwise, they can’t be convicted. If you’ve been arrested for theft by deception, your first step should be to contact a Fort Worth theft lawyer who understands the law and is willing to fight for your rights.
With the right lawyer by your side, sometimes theft charges are dropped or reduced, but there are instances where the charges are not dropped and it’s necessary to go to trial. In either case, your lawyer will stand beside you and help guide you through the process.
Possible Consequences if You’re Found Guilty
If you are found guilty of theft, the consequences could be dire. Depending on the nature of your charges, you could:
- Lose your driving privileges or have them suspended
- Face jail or even prison time
- Have to pay heavy fines
- Have the charges put on your criminal record
The punishment for a Texas theft conviction depends on several factors, including the original classification of the Texas theft charge. Class B felonies are the most serious and are punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Touch Base with a Theft Attorney in Fort Worth
Fortunately, your Fort Worth theft lawyer may be able to negotiate reduced charges for you. Sometimes, this involves taking classes or completing community service. Every client is different, but our goal is for any eligible cases to have charges withdrawn or dismissed.
Call Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC at 817-334-7900 or complete the contact form at the bottom of this page to schedule your free consultation right away.