Theft and Fraud Crimes in Texas: Charges, Elements, and Possible Defenses
If you're facing theft or fraud charges in Texas, it's crucial to understand the nature of these crimes, the potential consequences, and the available legal defenses. Tyler Criminal Defense Lawyer Carlo D'Angelo is experienced criminal defense attorney who is committed to helping you navigate the complex legal landscape and defending your rights. Let's briefly discuss the different theft and fraud crimes in Texas, the essential elements of these offenses, the range of punishments, and possible defenses.
- Theft Crimes in Texas: Theft offenses in Texas involve unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. Common theft crimes include:
A. Petty Theft: Theft of property valued at less than $100. B. Theft: Theft of property valued between $100 and $2,500. C. Grand Theft: Theft of property valued between $2,500 and $30,000.
- Fraud Crimes in Texas: Fraud crimes involve deceiving others to obtain property or services, and can include:
A. Credit Card Fraud: Using a stolen or unauthorized credit card to make purchases. B. Identity Theft: Obtaining and using someone else's personal information to commit fraud. C. Insurance Fraud: Making false claims to an insurance company to obtain benefits.
- Essential Elements of Theft and Fraud Crimes: To convict someone of theft or fraud, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
A. Unlawful appropriation: Taking or exercising control over property without the owner's consent. B. Intent to deprive: The accused must have intended to deprive the owner of their property. C. Deception or misrepresentation: In fraud cases, the accused must have used deception to obtain the property.
- Range of Punishment for Theft and Fraud Crimes: The penalties for theft and fraud crimes depend on the value of the stolen property and the specific circumstances. Penalties can range from a Class C misdemeanor for petty theft to a first-degree felony for high-value theft or fraud.
A. Class C Misdemeanor: Fine up to $500 B. Class B Misdemeanor: Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000 C. Class A Misdemeanor: Up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000 D. State Jail Felony: 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine up to $10,000 E. Third-Degree Felony: 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000 F. Second-Degree Felony: 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000 G. First-Degree Felony: 5 to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000
- Possible Defenses for Theft and Fraud Crimes: There are several legal defenses that a skilled criminal defense attorney can use to fight theft and fraud charges, including:
A. Lack of intent: Arguing that the accused did not intend to deprive the owner of their property. B. Consent: Asserting that the owner gave consent for the accused to take or use the property. C. Mistake of fact: Demonstrating that the accused believed they had a right to the property. D. Entrapment: Arguing that law enforcement induced the accused to commit the crime.
If you're facing theft or fraud charges in Texas, it's essential to have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side. Criminal Defense Attorney Carlo D'Angelo understands the complexities of these cases and are committed to providing you with a vigorous defense. Call Carlo today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.