If you have been arrested for committing a theft or if are under suspicion for committing a theft you need lawyers who have experience dealing with these kinds of accusations. All kinds of people get accused of stealing. Most people who are accused of theft are worried about the consequences in the future. Once the criminal justice system has decided you are guilty of theft there are several consequences that are never explained by most attorneys.
Different Forms of Theft
In Texas, theft crimes are called by many different names and have different consequences. However, whether it is called Shoplifting, Fraud, Misapplication of Fiduciary Duty, Forgery, Theft by Check, the consequences of the accusation can be devastating. Below we will discus some of the different strategies that can be used to combat a theft accusation, no matter what form it takes. You should know, however, that each case is different and each case calls for its own strategy. We take pride in tailoring our criminal defense strategy to your needs by listening and analyzing your case in-depth.
Hidden Consequences of Theft
Theft is a crime of moral turpitude. Moral turpitude means that once you are convicted of this kind of crime, then the court system assumes that you are a person of bad moral standing. This means that if you have an unrelated legal matter, let’s say you’ve been in a car accident and decide to sue a driver who is at fault, the theft conviction can be brought by the other side to insinuate that your testimony should not be believed. At Sifuentes & Locke we know how to make sure that your theft accusation does not become a theft conviction. We know how to protect your record so that you can avoid damaging consequences to your future, and we will explain every step of the process to you so that there are no surprises.
Once you have been arrested for theft you have a criminal record. The record is generated when you are taken down to the jail and fingerprinted. Once you have this on your record it can become the single most important issue in an employment situation. If you are looking for a job it can become the unwanted focal point of the job interview. If you have a good job now, some employers do routine background checks at regular intervals, and you can be asked to answer embarrassing questions about the accusation. At Sifuentes & Locke we handle each criminal defense matter differently. We will discuss your needs and attempt to find a situation that is tailored to meet those needs. If you want we can talk to your employer on your behalf and explain your side of the story. Allowing a lawyer to speak on your behalf makes certain that your words cannot be used against you. If you are being accused of theft please give us a call so we can help you through this difficult time. We also work out payment plans so that you can spread the economic impact out over time.
When you are accused of theft there are a number of defenses that arise. You need a lawyer who is familiar with these defenses so that he can use these defenses on your behalf. In Texas, a theft accusation is graded according to the value of the amount stolen. If you are accused of taking less than $50 the theft is a Class C misdemeanor. These misdemeanors can be expunged if you take Deferred Adjudication. If you are accused of taking more than 50 but less than $500 the theft is a Class B misdemeanor. This cannot be expunged.
The State occasionally charges the wrong crime and it is left to your criminal defense attorney to argue that you are being charged with the wrong crime. This argument can lead to a substantial reduction in the kinds of consequences you experience.
The State must prove a number of ‘elements’ for each crime it charges, such as in Theft, that the property did not belong to you. Another element that the State must prove is that you had the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the goods or money in question. We will investigate the facts of the case and determine whether we can make the argument that you did not have the intent to deprive the person who is accusing you of theft of the property you are accused of stealing. It is important for your attorney to know the layout of the store and whether or not the store has video tape and whether you were videotaped. At Sifuentes & Locke we will aggressively investigate the facts of your case.
When an employee is accused of theft it is often a Misappropriation of Fiduciary Duty. This means that a person in a position of trust used that trust to steal money. These cases have their own special issues. For instance, a good lawyer will investigate how the company operates and determine whether or not irregularities exist that might account for
At Sifuentes & Locke we know exactly how to defend these cases. We are one of the only criminal defense firms in San Antonio with two former White Collar Crime prosecutors. As former prosecutors, we will know the strengths and weaknesses of your case. We will combine this knowledge with a through understanding of your needs and goals. We will then work with you to come up with a strategy to resolve your case in your favor. Don’t let a mistake or a criminal accusation become the focal point of a job interview years down the road. Give us a call and let us introduce ourselves to you so we can explain your options and get started on your case.