Accusations of theft are always serious. They could land you in jail, and that comes with some serious fines and fees. Worse, serious cases may be bumped up to felonies, which can haunt you for years after the case.
What bumps theft up into a felony in Texas, though? What can you do to protect yourself when someone accuses you of theft? You’ll need a strong defense to protect yourself, first. A Fort Worth defense attorney can make a major difference in your criminal trial, so reach out and get the help you need before your trial begin.
The Amount Stolen
First, the amount stolen will make a big difference in what you’re charged with and how serious those crimes are. At the lowest point, you might be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for theft of $100 or less. While the consequences of a misdemeanor aren’t as severe, it can still cause you trouble.
Unfortunately, the more you’re accused of theft and the amount is larger, your sentence may be bumped up. A Class C misdemeanor could become a Class A misdemeanor if you’re charged with stealing more than $500, and if they claim you took more than $200,000, you could be charged with a first-degree felony. The consequences could include thousands of dollars in fines and prison.
Who You Are Matters
It’s not just what they claim you stole, either. Your position, especially in relation to the other party, could affect how serious your charges are. If you’re in a position that should be trusted, you might receive more serious charges, despite the amount reported stolen.
For example, if you’re an average citizen, and you’re accused of stealing $500, you’ll likely be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If you’re a government employee, however, and you’re accused of taking the same amount of money, your charges might be more serious because of your position. As such, you’ll need to speak to your lawyer about how serious your charges may be.
The Right Defense for Theft Charges
Unfortunately, there’s a chance that your theft charges might be more serious than you expected. You might be facing felony charges for what doesn’t sound like so much money, and now you’re in trouble. These charges can leave you in thousands of dollars of debt, and even after your prison sentence, you’ll be labeled as a felon. So, you’ll need to fight back before you’re charged.
To fight back, you’ll need a defense attorney on your side. Don’t face felony charges without the help you need to have those charges dropped. With the right lawyer on your side, you can get those charges dropped, so reach out before your trial begins.