Theft Crimes Defense
If you have been charged with a theft crime of any kind, it is important to understand the different kinds of theft charges you could be facing, so that your theft defense lawyer can help frame the best possible strategy and provide you with the best possible counsel.
First, you need to understand what constitutes theft. Once you understand the standard, then you can begin to take a closer look at how theft is charged. Texas classifies thefts according to the value of the property that is taken:
· Class C Misdemeanor – property or services stolen is less than $50.
· Class B Misdemeanor – property or services stolen is between $50 and $500.
· Class A Misdemeanor – property or services stolen is between $500 and $1,500.
Any theft that involves values in excess of $500 is considered grand theft and is charged accordingly:
· State Jail Felony – property or services stolen is between $1,500 and $20,000, resulting in jail time of six months - 2 years and a $10,000 fine.
· Felony of the Third Degree – property or services stolen is between $20,000 and $100,000 resulting in a prison sentence of 2-10 years and a $10,000 fine.
· Felony of the Second Degree – property or services stolen is between $100,000 and $200,000 resulting in a prison sentence of 2-20 years and a $10,000 fine.
· Felony of the First Degree – property or services stolen of $200,000 or more resulting in a prison sentence of 5-99 years and a $10,000 fine.
Mounting an Effective Burglary Defense
Burglary is one of the most common forms of theft, and as such, there are specific defenses that a skilled attorney such as George C. Ruiz can employ in this type of case.
The most common of these is a claim of innocence. By undercutting a prosecutor’s claim and introducing evidence that creates doubt, such as an alibi or challenging forensic evidence, it may be possible to successfully gain an acquittal. In some cases, a defendant may be able to argue that they thought they had permission to enter a property, or that they were placed under duress and forced to participate or face the threat of physical harm in some way.
Defending Against Shoplifting Charges
Another very common form of theft is shoplifting. Many times, this is a crime juveniles are charged with, and even though the actual item has a small value attached to it, the bigger issue is that a shoplifting conviction can haunt any defendant by creating a conviction record for the rest of their lives.
This is why it is critical to not take this type of charge lightly. Retaining Mr. Ruiz is essential to making sure that a minor infraction does not become a permanent black mark. In many cases, courts are open to working with offenders, especially minors, but it does take a knowledge of the courts and available diversion programs, along with the ability to persuade the courts that this is the best and most appropriate course of action.
The Law Office of George C. Ruiz serves clients in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Schertz, La Vernia, Seguin, Leon Valley, and other nearby Texas communities.