What Are The Consequences Of Having A Theft Conviction?
A theft charge is a classic example of what’s known as a crime of moral turpitude. A crime of moral turpitude is a crime that we use, societally, to indicate bad moral character or propensity for dishonesty. If someone has a theft charge on their record and a conviction for it, it’s something that employers may use to not hire them. A landlord may not rent to you if you have a prior theft conviction. Additionally, if you were ever charged with a crime and had to testify on your own behalf, or had to testify for any reason, a theft conviction on your record would be able to be brought up, unlike other convictions for crimes that do not involve moral turpitude, and that would be used to discredit your testimony in that case.
If you have a theft conviction on your record, even if it’s just for a Class C theft, and you are charged ever again with theft, it will automatically be enhanced up to a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to $2,000 and up to six months in jail. If you have two prior theft convictions, even if they are both Class C tickets, any time you are charged with theft in the future, it becomes a state jail felony offense punishable by 6 months to 2 years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine.
If you have no prior criminal history and you are charged with shoplifting, you are in the best circumstance that you can be in because most counties a have a pretrial diversion program for those types of offenses. (No paragraph break here)Pretrial diversion is a program you can apply for where you admit guilt for the offense and claim that you’ve learned your lesson and in exchange for that, they agree not to prosecute you. You do some community service, take a theft class, and then they are going to dismiss the case and allow you to get it expunged early off your record. If pretrial diversion is an option for you, then you should definitely try pursuing it.
If you are charged with a Class C and the state won’t agree to dismiss the case when you’ve done a theft class, they might be willing to give you a deferred disposition, which means that for the next three to six months, you stay out of trouble, including tickets. You pay a fine and there might be some community service involved, but the case gets dismissed and you are eligible to have it expunged from your record. It’s not a conviction and it doesn’t count for enhancement purposes towards the next time if you are ever charged for theft again. It may be necessary to involve an experienced attorney in order to secure a deferred disposition.
If you were charged with a Class B Theft, your attorney could negotiate with the prosecutors and have them refile the case as a Class C and give you the deferred disposition on that. If you couldn’t get an expungeable result, the next option would be deferred adjudication. Deferred adjudication is probation without a conviction and if you successfully complete the probation it can’t be used for enhancement purposes in the future. This would happen in a circumstance where you have one prior theft arrest that got dismissed and now you’ve been charged with theft again, and the prosecutors want it to be on your record in some way. Deferred adjudication allows you to get it sealed, if you successfully complete probation, so that only law enforcement and prosecutors can see it in the future, but they still maintain that record in case you are charged in the future. As in almost every case involving theft, it pays to have an experienced attorney by your side to negotiate all the pitfalls of the case and secure for you the best outcome.
For more information on Consequences Of A Theft Conviction In Texas, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (512) 601-0009 today.
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