The stakes are high when someone accuses you of a crime. The accused, even the innocent, may believe they can explain their way out of a criminal case by following the rules laid forth by the legal system. Worrying and feeling helpless after a theft charge in Texas is normal.
Here’s a quick rundown of theft charges in Texas and the measures you and your lawyer can take to improve your chances of getting the charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Defending Yourself against Accusations of Theft
The first step of your legal defense against theft charges in Texas is getting to the crime’s location. Maintaining composure is of utmost importance if a store owner, security officer, or other person accuses you of stealing and contacts the police. Don’t feel the need to defend yourself or insist on your innocence; everything you say could be used against you in court.
You should be able to explain the circumstances surrounding this incident to your lawyer if you believe you were subject to misunderstanding and that this whole thing is just a big misunderstanding. If an officer arrests you, you have the right to stay silent. You should immediately contact an attorney to begin preparing your case.
Know your Rights and Build your Case
If you are facing theft charges, you should familiarize yourself with your legal options and do everything possible to defend yourself. While the best response to a theft charge will differ from case to case, familiarizing yourself with these more prevalent ones is an excellent place to start.
The success percentages of these various approaches to defending against theft charges vary widely; a knowledgeable theft crimes attorney may help you choose the best approach for your case. To successfully defend yourself against theft allegations, you must retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Do not try to defend yourself against theft charges on your own. Several considerations must be made.
Is it Possible To Have Theft Charges Dropped?
Most people need to learn how a theft charge can be dismissed. Most theft cases have their charges dismissed at or before the initial court appearance.
Most people think the police will have to abandon the case if the victim asks them to. This, unfortunately, is not the situation. After interviewing the victim, detectives and the district attorney’s office will decide whether to press charges. They can dismiss the case at any time if they change their minds.
Bear in mind that the DA and the police taking a victim’s request does not obligate them to dismiss the case. The prosecutor and judge’s decision will depend on the gravity of the case.
It’s essential to remember that almost all people who have had their belongings stolen want them back. Or they want the monetary equivalent of the stolen goods. They also need to prevent this person from returning to the region.
How Can Petty Theft Charges Get Dropped?
Defendants accused of petty theft often have three options for having the charges dropped:
- Fulfill a pretrial diversion program if one is offered
- Accept a plea bargain that results in the charges being dropped
- Prove their innocence.
One technique to prevent charges from being dropped is to persuade the victim not to file them. However, if you’re a victim of theft, there is little you can do to influence whether charges are brought against the offender. Ultimately, it is up to the district attorney to make the decision. While many prosecutors consider the victim’s wishes, they are not obligated to do so.
Even if the victim refuses to cooperate, law enforcement can still pursue charges against the offender. It’s important to remember that the decision to press charges ultimately lies with the prosecutor, and it’s always advisable to consult with a qualified attorney for guidance and support throughout the legal process.
Further, intimidating a witness can include contacting the victim and pushing them not to press charges. This constitutes a serious offense. Some states may even consider it a crime. Those who choose this path risk being charged with additional, more severe crimes in addition to the original count of petty theft.
Pressing Charges For Theft
It may take more time than initially anticipated to file criminal charges. A victim cannot just go to the police and demand that charges be filed. Moreover, it’s highly improbable that, after hearing the victim’s story, police will swiftly apprehend the culprit and press charges.
To suggest that the prosecutor file criminal charges, the police will need to collect evidence and other data if they were not present at the commission of the crime.
Do Private Criminal Complaints Exist For Theft?
In some jurisdictions, citizens can file formal charges against one another for petty or misdemeanor offenses (such as criminal trespass or simple battery) without involving law enforcement or the district attorney’s office. Similarly, “private prosecutors” are permitted to try criminal proceedings in several jurisdictions.
However, private charges and prosecutions are uncommon, even in places that permit them. Since the courts are concerned that private prosecution could be used as a tool of retribution, its application is highly regulated. Pursuing justice is the public prosecutor’s responsibility, not simply securing a guilty verdict. It can be challenging for a potential victim to take a step back and let a prosecutor analyze the evidence before making other decisions objectively.
See Also: Fake ID Charges
How do I press charges in Florida?
You must contact the law enforcement agency where the crime occurred. If it is an emergency, call 911.
Which Theft Charges are Eligible to be cleared from a Criminal Record?
Most theft convictions that can be expunged from a criminal record are classified as felonies. In Texas, record expungement may be possible only for crimes that did not result in a conviction or community corrections or were resolved through deferred adjudication.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.