A criminal conviction for a theft offense could impact your life forever. Even after you have served your jail time and paid your fines, other consequences could continue to follow you for years.

The theft laws in the state of Texas are designed to protect the property of residents. However, the local police tend to be overzealous in pursuing these cases, often resulting in an arrest for a theft offense when it is not warranted. A dedicated defense attorney at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. could help you avoid a conviction. Discuss your options with a McKinney theft lawyer before considering a plea offer.

Classifying Theft Charges in McKinney

Theft offenses come in various degrees. These offenses could be qualified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. The severity of these offenses is categorized by the monetary value of the objects that were allegedly taken.

These offenses include varying ranges of penalties. The most significant consequence of a theft conviction is incarceration, but there are also monetary fines to consider. A McKinney theft attorney could defend against any degree of a theft offense, including:

Misdemeanors

State prosecutors have three different misdemeanor charges they could file in these cases. This include class A, B, and C misdemeanors. A class C misdemeanor is the lowest tier of theft offense and carries $500 in fines but no risk of incarceration. This offense is limited to property valued below $100.

The highest level of misdemeanor is a class A offense. This charge is used for property valued between $750 and $2,500. A conviction for theft could result in up to a year in jail.

Felonies

Theft offenses can also be treated as felonies. At the lowest level, these offenses are considered state jail felonies. A conviction could vary between 180 days and two years in a Texas state jail.

Higher-level felonies range between third-degree and first-degree felonies. At a maximum, a felony theft conviction could result in up to 99 years in prison.

How Penalties Could Be Enhanced

Understanding the potential sentences that could come with theft convictions is already complex without the help of a knowledgeable theft attorney in McKinney. To make things more challenging, it is possible—under certain circumstances—for the state to enhance these penalties. A diligent legal professional could help someone accused of theft charges navigate these heightened penalties.

As the name suggests, enhancements generally increase the penalty for one offense to the next highest type of charge. For example, a second-degree felony could carry the penalties of a first-degree offense if enhancing factors are present.

There are different factors that could intensify a theft charge. Some of these factors cover stolen property that:

  • Is under the control of a public servant or government contractor
  • Is owned by a non-profit
  • Is owned by a person aged 65 or over
  • Is owned by a Medicare provider
  • Involved tampering with a fire alarm

The right attorney could do more than fight a conviction. The right legal counsel could also push back against the use of any enhancements in a theft case.

Enlist the Help of a McKinney Theft Attorney Today

If you are facing criminal theft charges in McKinney, now is the time to speak to a legal professional. Any delay could give the prosecution an advantage and put you at risk of a conviction.

A savvy McKinney theft lawyer at the Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. could help you develop the strongest defense possible. Call right away to learn more.

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