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.
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:
- Passing bad checks
- Identity theft
- Credit card theft
- Car theft
- Buying or taking stolen property
- Ponzi schemes
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Dismissed Assault Family Violence
During a dispute with her boyfriend, our client threw a brass statue against a wall, which ended up bouncing and hitting him. He called the police and our client was arrested for Assault Family Violence.
Our client was stopped by a police officer for driving the wrong way down a one-way street. A Blood Warrant was issued, and the test came back .09. Our client was new to the area and attempting to get a job. Pleading guilty to a DWI was not an option. After negotiating with the prosecutor, our firm was able to get the DWI charge dismissed after successful completion of 18 months deferred prosecution.
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.
Charges Rejected Assault Bodily Injury Family Violence
Our client explained to us that they hadn’t lived in the Country for that long and his wife had called police as a way to resolve a non-physical dispute they had. Police arrived and immediately noticed bruising that they tried to pin on Our Client as well as other marks.