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Dallas Theft Lawyer | Criminal Defense [2023]

Dallas Theft Lawyer Serving Dallas County and Surrounding Areas

Theft is an extremely common crime in Dallas and, for that matter, every major city in Texas. For some, theft is a crime of opportunity. For others, it’s a premeditated act. Many people get charged with theft due to a mistake or misunderstanding. Regardless of the circumstances, theft charges can have a long-lasting impact on your future. Most people do not realize that theft is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” which means it can become an obstacle to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Dallas theft lawyer

What is Theft in Texas?

Theft is the unlawful taking of property without the consent of the owner. It can range from a Class C misdemeanor all the way to a first degree felony offense.

Dallas County Theft Lawyer

Theft can range from stealing a pack of gum to taking trade secrets. Regardless of the accusations, the goal of every Dallas County theft lawyer at Varghese Summersett is to keep our clients out of jail and avoid a conviction. Benson Varghese, a Dallas theft lawyer who is Board Certified in Criminal Law, explains why avoiding a theft conviction is so important in this short video. After you finish watching, please read on to learn more about theft charges in Texas, including potential punishments and possible defenses.

How is theft defined in Texas?

Under Texas Penal Code 31.03, a person commits theft if he or she “unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of the property.” In layman’s terms, theft is taking something that doesn’t belong to you, without the owner’s permission or without legal justification, with no intention of giving it back.

While this sounds simple or straightforward, the theft statute is actually very convoluted and lengthy. That’s because there are more than a dozen sections in the penal code that outline ways in which you can be charged with theft in Texas. 

What are common types of theft in Dallas?

There are numerous types of theft crimes, which can be found Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code. Some of the most common ones we see in Dallas include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Credit card theft
  • Theft by check
  • Mail theft (porch pirates)
  • Unauthorized use of a vehicle
  • Tampering with identification numbers
  • Skip scanning
  • Fraud or  embezzlement
  • Theft of gas

If you or a loved one is facing any kind of theft allegation, it’s vital to speak with a skilled Dallas theft lawyer at our firm to find out exactly what you are charged with and the potential ramifications. 

What’s the law say about possession of stolen property?

Possessing, receiving, or concealing stolen property can be charged the same as theft. If you knew the property was stolen or should have known it was stolen, you could be looking at the same consequences as the person who actually took the property.

What is the punishment for theft in Dallas?

The exact charge and punishment range for theft depends on the loss or attempted loss of the item or service that was taken. The higher the amount, the higher the charge. The offense level is set out in the Texas Theft Value Ladder:

  • Under 100                           Class C  Misdemeanor                           $500 fine, no jail time
  • $100-$750                          Class B Misdemeanor                            Up to 180 days in jail
  • $750-$2500                       Class A Misdemeanor                            Up to 1 year in jail
  • $2500-$30000                  State Jail Felony                                     180 days to 2 yrs
  • $30000-$150000              Third Degree Felony                              2-10 years in prison
  • $150000-$300000           Second Degree Felony                           2-20 years in prison
  • $300,000+                         First Degree Felony                                5-99 years of line in prison

If you have a prior conviction for any level of threat, your charge can be elevated up one level. If you have two or more prior theft convictions, your charge could potentially be elevated two levels.

It’s also important to point out that the charges can be elevated if the victim was elderly, a non-profit organization, a public servant, or a government contractor.

What other consequences can stem from a theft conviction?

Theft is considered a crime of moral turpitude in Texas. A crime of moral turpitude is one that involves dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or deliberate violence. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude suggests that you are untrustworthy. Convictions for a crime of moral turpitude can negatively impact your ability to get a job, housing or into specific schools or program. It could also impact you ability to remain in the U.S. or become a citizen. That’s why it is so important to resolve a Dallas theft charge in a manner that won’t result in a conviction.

What defenses can a good Dallas theft lawyer raise?

There are a number of defenses that an experienced Dallas theft lawyer can potentially raise, including but not limited to: 

Consent: The defendant had consent to take the item.

Lack of intent: The defendant never intended to steal the item.

Mistake of fact: The item was thought to have been stolen but really wasn’t.

Duress: Stealing something under threat of harm to yourself or your family.

Value: Contesting the value of the item that was allegedly taken.

Abandoned: Unclear who owned the property; abandoned.

It’s important to speak with an experienced Dallas theft lawyer to find out if any of these defenses could apply to your case. Our team will thoroughly review the allegations and find the best strategy for you. Many people charged with theft are young and have no criminal record. In those cases, you may be eligible for a diversion program that will result in a dismissal upon successful completion. 

Facing Dallas theft charges? Speak to a Dallas theft lawyer today.

If you or a loved one is facing any type of theft charge, it’s imperative to contact a skilled attorney immediately. We can help. Our team has handled every type of theft case, ranging from simple shoplifting to serious white collar crimes. We will formulate the best defense strategy to achieve the most favorable outcome possible. There’s a reason people turn to Varghese Summersett when they are facing the biggest problem in their lives. Experience and results matter. Call 214-903-4000 for a free consultation with a Dallas theft lawyer.

Dallas Theft Lawyer

Dallas theft lawyer

The Consultation is Free

The Advice is Priceless

(214) 903-4000

Table of Contents

Dallas theft lawyer

The Consultation is Free

The Advice is Priceless

(214) 903-4000

Table of Contents

Benson Varghese Author

About the Author

Benson Varghese is the managing partner of Varghese Summersett. He is a seasoned attorney, highly esteemed for his comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the field. He has successfully handled thousands of state and federal cases, ranging from misdemeanor driving while intoxicated cases to capital offenses, showcasing his commitment to preserving justice and upholding the rights of his clients. His firm covers criminal defense, personal injury, and family law matters. Benson is also a legal tech entrepreneur.

Benson is a go-to authority in the legal community, known for his ability to explain complex legal concepts with clarity and precision. His writings offer a wealth of in-depth legal insights, reflecting his extensive experience and his passion for the law.

Not only is Benson an accomplished litigator, but he is also a dedicated advocate for his clients, consistently striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for them. His authorship provides readers with valuable legal advice and an understanding of the complexities of the criminal justice system.

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