Finding the Best Arlington TX Theft Crimes Lawyer
Several elements are involved in stealing someone's property, which is why theft crimes can become a bit messy, although people may believe the outcome is relatively simple. That's why only professional criminal defense lawyers know how to properly handle these cases. Luckily for people, the Sparks Law Firm has a team of adequately trained lawyers ready to offer a free consultation and bring justice to anyone who may need it.
What Is the Legal Definition of Theft?
When facing a theft case, the first thing that must be done is to understand the concept of theft. In legal terms, stealing means taking someone else's property and permanently depriving them of it. Nonetheless, there are several types of theft, all of which imply different consequences depending on the factors involved in the situation, such as the value of the stolen item and whether the thief used force or weapons during the crime execution.
Moreover, it is crucial to be aware that all penalties and defenses the defendant may have are going to change depending on the state they're in, as these laws vary in each jurisdiction.
What Are Some Examples of Theft Crimes?
Thefts can go from minor offenses to more serious ones, so it is essential to learn to differentiate between them when facing one of these cases. Some minor thefts include stealing low-value items, which tend to be classified as petty theft or class C misdemeanor theft, and the defendant's fine may rarely go above $1,000.
However, if the value of the stolen item is higher, the theft is going to be classified as an aggravated offense, such as grand theft or grand larceny.
How Does Criminal Defense Attorneys Define Property
One of the most important terms in criminal law is property, as this is going to help determine whether something is or isn't classified as a theft crime. Some of the most common types of property are the following:
Real immovable property, such as lands and any building placed in it
Movable property, such as jewelry, cash, cars, etc.
Any document or certificate
Information or personal data that's legally bonded to a person or institution
Any service that's provided to an individual, such as food or beverages
In summary, as long as someone takes away the property of someone else, it can be classified as theft, and the victims are entitled to take legal action against the defendant.
What Is Felony Theft?
Felony theft includes several crimes that involve taking someone else's property and can be classified into many types. Moreover, theft is commonly considered a "wobbler" crime, which means it can either be a felony or misdemeanor. This is going to depend on the several factors surrounding the circumstances of the crime, which vary depending on the state.
In most cases, the defendant is going to be charged with a felony if they stole more than $1,000 or $2,000.
What Amount of Theft Is Considered a Felony?
This question doesn't have a simple answer, as it is going to depend on several factors, such as the jurisdiction where the crime is committed and its severity. Misdemeanors usually go up to $800 and $1,000. If anyone steals something worth more than that, they are most likely going to be charged with a felony.
Moreover, it is vital to remember that some states classify felonies into several degrees, and they can go anywhere from first-degree to third-degree felonies, depending on the factors involved in the case.
Types of Theft Crime
In order to understand all the possible penalties someone can get after committing a felony, they must know all the types of theft that Arlington criminal defense lawyers handle on a day-to-day basis. Some of the most common are the following:
This is a simple theft in which the defendant steals over $1,000 worth of someone else's good against their will. If they take a lower amount, it is usually considered a regular theft.
Grand Theft Auto
A grand theft auto follows the same parameters as the previous description but refers exclusively to vehicles.
This term is commonly used interchangeably with grand theft depending on each jurisdiction. However, it can be defined as the intent to take someone else's property.
Receiving Stolen Property
People can also face legal repercussions if they receive stolen property, knowing it was taken from someone else.
This is a complicated situation, as it commonly involves some degree of trust between the victim and the defendant. It consists of the defendant taking funds from a shared account meant for a specific purpose. Therefore, this commonly happens in work relationships, but it can also occur in marriages and partnerships.
Robbery combines violence with theft, as it uses force to take the other person's belongings.
What Are the Possible Penalties for Committing Felony Theft?
Several steps need to be followed before getting to the penalty stage, and the first one is proving that the defendant committed the crime. In order to do that, the Fort Worth theft crimes law firm must demonstrate through a criminal investigation the following aspects.
The stolen property was taken intentionally.
Someone else owned that property, and it wasn't owned by the accused.
The defendant didn't have any permission or consent to take the victim's property.
There was the explicit intent of depriving the victim of their property.
If the plaintiff can prove all of these aspects, the defendant can face several penalties depending on the jurisdiction and their criminal history. However, in most cases, they're going to end up from one to 20 years in a state or federal prison, and they may have to pay fines to compensate the victim for their losses.
Can Sentences for Theft Crimes Be Increased or Decreased?
Theft crimes have several aggravating factors that can increase or decrease the sentence the defendant may get. The following reasons usually cause these aggravated thefts:
Using any weapon or violence, such as in wrongful death or aggravated sexual assault cases.
Threatening or intimidating other parties involved.
Stealing high-value items or from a government-protected property.
If any of these factors are present in the crime, the defendant is going to face a much higher prison sentence, which translates into more prison time and a higher fine. Moreover, they are likely to get a permanent felony record which affects their legal rights, such as the right to vote or serve in a jury trial.
Are There Any Defenses to Felony Theft?
Defendants are entitled to receive criminal defense from a reliable law firm to reduce their criminal charges. Still, the type of defense they may be able to get is going to depend on the specific factors of the crime. Some of the most common are the following: mistake of fact, mistaken identity, mistake of law, lack of intent, lack of knowledge, and consent to possess the item.
Nonetheless, the criminal defense attorney is going to have to check the state's regulations to make sure they can use any of these defenses.
What Is the "Specific Intent" Defense?
When a criminal attorney refers to criminal intent, they are talking about the motivations behind the criminal act. In a theft crime, the criminal intent must be to permanently take someone else's property, but this intent can be classified into two main categories: general and specific intent.
Nonetheless, specific intent cases are much more difficult to prove, which is why the criminal attorney commonly uses it as a defense strategy. In order to prove specific intent, there must be hard evidence confirming a subjective desire to execute the illegal conduct. If there's no specific intent, it may be complicated for the victim to win the case.
Do I Need to Hire Criminal Defense Law Firm If I Am Facing Felony Theft Charges?
It is always possible for the defendant to represent themselves, but they rarely win the case. The defendant must be aware of hundreds of rules and technical knowledge. Therefore, the best thing they can do is find a law firm that can provide them with a wide variety of criminal lawyers who can build a strong defense for their case and offer a free consultation.
Moreover, hiring Arlington criminal lawyers can take a massive weight off their client's shoulders, as they can defend them in court and explain all the complicated legal terms they may have to deal with during the case.
It is vital to remember that getting convicted is one of the most terrible things that could happen to someone, as it is going to completely change their lives, which is why investing in good criminal attorneys is the most intelligent option.
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Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
Being involved in a theft case is a messy situation for all parties, which is why in most cases, the defendant is going to need a theft law firm that can make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
The Sparks Law Firm is one of the best law firms in Arlington, TX, as it offers a free consultation to anyone who may need some legal counsel. Victims must only go to the law offices and talk with one of the great theft lawyers to get the justice they deserve.