Aggressive Dallas Theft Defense Attorneys
Texas Penal Code Larceny Laws
The legal definition of theft according to the Texas Penal Code, Section 31.03 is, “A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.” This definition of theft also applies to unlawfully acquiring property using a worthless check and the unlawful receipt of services. The seriousness of a Theft offense and punishment depends on the amount of money allegedly stolen.
The penalties for theft charges can vary widely, depending on what was allegedly stolen, or attempted to be stolen. Our attorneys can help defend the following, and more:
- Theft by Check
- Petty Theft
- Aggravated Theft
- Larceny (Simple Theft)
- Grand Theft
- Theft of Service
Call (214) 238-9392 now to schedule a consultation with a Dallas theft crime lawyer at our firm. Se habla Español.
What is Theft by Check?
In general, it is a theft for a person to take property from its owner by issuing or passing a check when that person knew or should have known that there were insufficient funds on deposit with the bank for the payment in full of the check as well as all of the other checks that the person had outstanding at the time.
The law presumes that the check writer intended to steal the property, if (i) the check writer had no account with the bank at the time of issuing the check, or (ii) the check writer failed to pay the check within ten (10) days after receiving notice that the check was returned by the bank for “insufficient funds.”
The biggest question is whether you intended to steal. Intent is a major part of the crime. The State must prove you wrote the check knowing that you did not have the funds because you wanted to steal the item. So you cannot go on a check-writing binge without any money in your account over a long period of time because that will allow people to draw the conclusion that you intended to steal!
Punishment for Theft in Texas
The following describe the conditions for theft when it falls under the category of a misdemeanor:
- Class C Misdemeanor Theft (Up to $500 Fine, No Imprisonment) - Valued at $50 or less
- Class B Misdemeanor Theft (Up to $2k Fine, Up to 180 Days Imprisonment) - Valued less than $500, but more than $50
- Class A Misdemeanor Theft (Up to $4k Fine, Up to 1 Year Imprisonment) - Valued more than $500 but less than $1.5k
- State Jail Felony Theft (Up to $10k Fine, Up to 180 Days Imprisonment) - Valued more than $1.5k but less than $20k
- Third Degree Felony Theft (Up to $10k Fine, Up to 10 Years Imprisonment) - Valued more than $20k but less than $100k
- Second Degree Felony Theft (Up to $10k Fine, Up to 20 Years Imprisonment) - Valued more than $100k but less than $200k
- First Degree Felony Theft (Up to $10k Fine, Up to Life Imprisonment) - Valued more than $200k
Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC Theft Legal Counsel
The key to defending a theft charge is lack of intent. A simple, yet effective defense is “I did not intent to steal” or “I did not know it was stolen or I did not know it was in my house or car.” Also, as with any criminal offense, the constitutional defenses of unlawful search and seizure apply.
The Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC is an aggressive criminal defense firm with a reputation for getting results in trial. If you were charged with burglary, theft, larceny, shoplifting, or any other type of theft crime in Dallas County, McLain is the Dallas criminal defense attorney you need on your side.
Call (214) 238-9392 to speak with a Dallas theft defense lawyer for help protecting your rights.
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Over Two Decades in the U.S. Marine Corps
Attorney Patrick J. McLain tried his first jury trials during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He handles all cases with integrity and an unparalleled work-ethic.
Former Federal Prosecutor & Military Judge
Attorney Patrick J. McLain's years of experience across the aisle provide him with a unique perspective.
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Throughout his career, Patrick J. McLain has helped thousands of clients secure a better future for themselves through tenacious and aggressive representation.