Theft/Shoplifting Facing Criminal Charges? Protect Your Freedom Before Time Runs Out

San Antonio Theft Defense Attorneys

Theft & Shoplifting Defense Lawyers in South Central Texas

Have you been accused of stealing? Theft allegations like shoplifting can cause embarrassment and anxiety, resulting in a Class C misdemeanor on your record. Other more serious theft crimes can be charged as elevated misdemeanors and even felonies. Penalties can vary from simple fines to prison sentences. Furthermore, because theft is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” it can seriously impact your life. A simple background check by an employer, landlord, university, or other agency can lead to an embarrassing rejection of an opportunity that everyone else takes for granted.

If you have been charged, you need a competent San Antonio theft defense lawyer from Smith & Vinson Law Firm in your corner. We can assess the State’s evidence against you and fight to keep your record clean. In some instances, we can work towards a resolution of your case that does not include a conviction. You may be eligible for a diversion program or you may be able to avoid a conviction through restitution.

Contact our offices for a free consultation about your case. Call (210) 960-9557 today.

Types of Theft Crimes in Texas

Many types of theft crimes exist under Texas law. Generally, for a conviction to take place, the prosecution will have to prove two things. First, that you took the property with intent to steal it and then that you were found with the property in your possession.

Examples of theft crimes that we handle include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Passing bad checks
  • Forgery
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card theft
  • Car theft
  • Buying or taking stolen property
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Ponzi schemes
  • Burglary
  • Robbery

Different elements of proof must be demonstrated in each of these crimes. In each case, the prosecution is burdened with proving these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. As always, you are innocent until proven guilty and our firm can formulate a strong defense based on a thorough investigation into the incident. At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, our attorneys fight hard to help you avoid a theft conviction that could be detrimental to your future.

Penalties for Theft Crimes in San Antonio

Penalties for theft crimes are based on the value of the property stolen:

  • Less than $50 (or less than $20 by check) is charged as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500
  • $50 to $499 (or $20 but less than $500 by check) is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in a county jail and a fine of up to $2,000
  • $500 - $1,499 is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $4,000
  • $1,500 up to $20,000 is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000
  • $20,000 up to $100,000 is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • $100,000 up to $200,000 is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • $200,000 or more is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

What to Do if You Are Accused of Shoplifting

If you have been arrested for shoplifting, you are probably feeling overwhelmed and anxious. If it is your first time being accused of a crime, you might have no idea what to do.

We recommend that you:

  1. Always cooperate with security personnel. A store security person or loss prevention officer will likely confront you if they suspect shoplifting. Retailers often contact the police so trying to flee the scene or resisting arrest can lead to further criminal charges. Remain calm and do what is asked.
  2. If the store’s employees try to question you, ask to have a witness present. The witness could be another employee or a manager. Write down everyone’s name and job title.
  3. Do not sign any paperwork until you have read it carefully. This paperwork is often an incident report required by the retailer’s store policy. Never sign anything that has inaccurate or incomplete information.
  4. Contact our law firm. The police will usually have been called before you leave the premises. In that case, you may have been arrested or given a citation with a court date. Call our offices for a free consultation to discuss your options. We are on call night and day, seven days a week.

It is important that you do not try to handle a shoplifting or theft charge by yourself. The majority of big retailers prosecute these offenses to the fullest extent of the law no matter the value of the property in question. They also will not back down from pressing charges should you return the property or try to pay restitution.

When you contact a criminal defense lawyer at Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we begin a detailed investigation into the matter. This includes interviewing witnesses, reviewing security camera footage, and evaluating reports.

Defenses Against Theft Charges in San Antonio

Facing theft charges in San Antonio requires a strategic and informed defense strategy. San Antonio theft defense attorneys at Smith & Vinson Law Firm are adept at navigating the complexities of theft charges, employing various defenses based on the specifics of each case. Common defenses include:

  • Lack of Intent: Arguing that the defendant did not have the intention to commit a theft, therefore negating a key element of theft charges.
  • Mistake of Fact: Demonstrating that the accused person was under a genuine and reasonable belief that they had a right to the property in question.
  • Duress: Showing that the defendant was forced to commit the act under threat of immediate harm to themselves or someone else.
  • Consent: Proving that the property owner consented to the defendant taking the property, which can invalidate theft allegations.
  • Return of Property: Although not a definitive defense against theft, returning the property can sometimes play a role in mitigating the situation, especially if the property was taken inadvertently.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the prosecution's evidence as inadequate to meet the burden of proof required for a theft conviction.
  • Misidentification: Arguing that the defendant was wrongly identified as the person who committed the theft.
  • Entrapment: Claiming that law enforcement officers or others induced the defendant into committing a crime they would not have otherwise committed.
  • Ownership or Right to Possession: Asserting that the defendant believed in good faith that they had a right to possess or own the property.

Every theft case presents unique circumstances, and a seasoned theft crimes lawyer can identify and execute the most compelling defense for their client.

How Theft Charges Can Impact Your Life

Theft crime charges can dramatically alter one's life, affecting employment opportunities, educational prospects, housing options, and social relationships. These charges, viewed as a reflection of character, can lead to stigmatization and discrimination in various aspects of life. Engaging a skilled theft crimes attorney from Smith & Vinson Law Firm can significantly mitigate these adverse effects.

Our attorneys understand the gravity of theft charges and work diligently to protect your rights and reputation. From negotiating for lesser charges or penalties to seeking alternative resolutions like diversion programs, our goal is to minimize the impact on your future. We provide comprehensive legal representation, leveraging our expertise to ensure the best possible outcome for our clients facing theft charges in San Antonio.

Let Our San Antonio Shoplifting Defense Law Firm Fight for You

Our San Antonio theft attorneys take your criminal charges seriously; we aggressively fight to protect your rights and to help you avoid penalties. Contacting our firm is an important first step when facing the Texas criminal justice system. Take advantage of our experience and commitment by calling us as soon as possible.

Contact us for a free initial consultation. Call (210) 960-9557 now.

Our Clients Are Our Biggest Endorsers

Hear What They Have to Say
  • Attorney Brad Vinson was informative, professional yet sympathetic with his approach to my case. Mr. Vinson was open to opinion and ensured that all legal avenues were considered and addressed before presenting a course of action.
    - Michael
  • Having no background in law and finding myself in a situation that left me feeling extremely vulnerable, I felt quickly at ease in their care. They were very reasonable with my situation and helped work around my needs by providing me with the most support
    - Andrew
  • They handled my case incredibly well and warned me on the possible negative outcomes, overall completely satisfied me through the whole process.
    - Elmer Marqueiz
  • Very professional, on time and educates you along the whole process. I had a lot to lose and you guys gave it all back to me and finally represented what true Justice is here in America.
    - Manuel R.

    A Proven Track Record

    Check Out Our Recent Case Results
    • Dismissed Theft

      Our client was allegedly caught shoplifting at an HEB. She had no prior arrest history, so we worked with her on proactively taking classes, which were used to her advantage during our negotiations. The client accepted a deferred adjudication on the shoplifting offense, which was ultimately dismissed.

    • Felony Rejected Pre-Indictment Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Interference with a 911 Call

      Our client’s girlfriend’s car was being repossessed. Our client had belongings in the car, including his work equipment and his firearm. Our client attempted to get his belongings out of the car before it was being towed away. The tow driver accused our client of threatening him with the gun our client was retrieving while he was on 911 with the police.

    • No Charges Filed Sexual Assault Investigation

      Our client was a UT student who was accused of sexual assault. He came to our firm extremely scared about his future both with the university and within the criminal justice system. With our firm's help, he was able to show that his accuser was not credible. Smith and Vinson put together a defense that law enforcement recognized as credible evidence of his innocence and not to file charges which changed the course of our client's life.

    • Charges Avoided Assault

      Client had been celebrating his birthday and tried to prevent some of his guest from driving while intoxicated. While attempting to arrange an alternative ride for a relative, the relative’s girlfriend decided she wasn’t having it and decided to start an altercation with a few other guest. Later she accused our client of having assaulted her and sending her to the hospital.

    • Cases Dismissed Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Misdemeanor Assault with Bodily Injury

      Our client was accused of attacking another man on two separate occasions, once with his hands and once with a knife in our client’s home. Our client had told the man to stay away from his family because the man had made romantic advances toward his wife, but the man persisted.

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