Crimes Against Property
The Texas Penal Code has an entire Section devoted to crimes against Property. Theft is chief among them. Theft is defined as the appropriation of property, including money, without effect consent of the owner and with the intent to permanenty deprive the owner of his property. Theft crimes encompass a wide variety of criminal activity including fraud, shoplifting, robbery, embezzlement, carjacking and auto theft, money laundering, identity theft, misdemeanor theft. The determination of whether a theft crime will be classified as a misdemeanor or felony depends on the value of the property allegedly stolen. Not all theft crimes are created the same, and this allows a lawyer to negotiate settlements with the State that could tranform a Felony Theft into a Misdemeanor.
Theft could involve tens of millions of dollars or it could include accusations of stealing a low-priced item as well. The key determination of whether something has been embezzled is if the accused had possession of an item legally and converted it to his own personal use.
Mortgages are substantial loans taken out for a home. Mortgage fraud typically occurs in situations where the borrower lies about his assets, employment or credit, influencing the Mortgagee to loan money. In some situations, the home may be sold several times in a short period of time, with loan money syphoned off each time. The consequences of a mortgage fraud conviction are heavy because of the large nature of the loan. Depending on the amount of loss, it can be prosecuted in Federal or State Court.
This crime involves breaking and entering into a residence or building with the intent to commit a Theft, Felony or Assault. Punishment for this offense depends on the severity of the break and the intent of the accused at the time of the entry. An accused who is prosecuted for entering a habitation with the intent to commit sexual assault is likely to face more penalty than a teenager who breaks into a neighbor’s garage to steal a bicycle. Sometimes an issue arises as to intent. In such a case, a Burglary may be negotiatied down to a misdemeanor Trespass charge.
This crime is the most common type of Theft. It involves taking something from a store of some kind without paying for it and with the intent not to pay for it. Often times an individual accused of this crime is stopped outside the store by security. Sometimes intent is presumed when security personnel observe an accused hide merchandise in a bag or in his clothing while shopping. In any case, the intent to permanently deprive must be proven for a conviction to be obtained by the State.
This is not typically considered a theft charge. It involves the hiding of criminal proceeds through the use of apparent legal businesses or transactions. Money laundering is usually filed in Federal Court, but the State of Texas has statutes that would apply.
This type of theft involves the use of another individuals identifying information, such as credit, social security and driver’s license numbers to obtain property or money. If the case involves the use of someones credit card without authorization, it is charged as Unauthorized Use of Credit.
Contact our firm today!
Sometimes an employee bears the brunt of a fraud that is actually being perpetrated by someone higher up the chain of command. Sometimes an investment scheme is so complicated that it is presumed criminal when it starts losing money. In all of these instances, the lawyer for the accused must be highly knowledgeable about his client’s case. When there is advance warning that a fraud charge is being investigated, we may be able to prevent an arrest altogether. For an honest, confidential consultation with an aggressive criminal defense lawyer regarding any theft or property crime, contact us.