If you are facing theft charges, you know that you are in a difficult legal situation, but you may not be aware of how serious your situation may actually be. You know you need to prepare a strong defense, but where should you start? One of the most helpful initial steps you can take is to learn more about the specific types of charges you are up against.
Theft charges can range from a misdemeanor offense with fines to a felony offense with multiple years behind bars. The consequences that may come with a conviction depend on the value of the item stolen, Texas laws and other factors. With the right help, you may be able to effectively confront these charges, protect your future interests and keep a mark off your permanent criminal record.
The consequences of theft crimes
Petty theft is a misdemeanor offense, but a conviction will leave a permanent mark on your criminal record. This crime can bring penalties that include fines and a potential for jail time. Jail sentences for petty theft are generally less than six months, but definitely less than one year. These charges pertain to the theft of items that are not exceptionally valuable, typically ranging from $500 to $1,000 in price.
Grand theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. These charges come when an individual allegedly takes property that is worth more than $1,000, but this depends on the individual situation. Grand felony theft is the most serious theft charge, and a person convicted of this type of crime may have to pay restitution, serve time in prison and pay certain fines.
How can you fight back?
You may feel overwhelmed, but it can help to remember that you can fight back with a strong defense. A conviction or a guilty plea is never your only option. You have the right to a presumption of innocence and the right to seek the assistance of an attorney.
Don’t fight theft charges on your own or assume that are no effective defense strategies available to you. An evaluation of your case can help you see how you can move forward and prepare a strategy by which you can fight any type of theft charge. It is in your interests to seek help as soon as possible because your personal freedom and future opportunities are on the line.