Theft, Traffic Tickets and Federal Cases
As with most states, Texas reckons its theft offenses according to the value of the property or services stolen, and in some special cases, based on the type of property involved in the offense. Being charged with theft is a serious matter. Aside from serving time in jail and having to pay hefty fines if convicted, it can cause complications with a person’s future plans, such as getting admitted to schools or securing jobs.
Under Texas law, a person commits theft if the person “unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.” Simply put, theft is committed if a person takes something that doesn’t belong to him or her without consent from the owner or other legal justification for doing so, and at the time of the offense, they have no intention of giving the property back to its rightful owner.
Theft can also arise from the act of purchasing a property that one knows to be stolen. In some cases—such as purchase of items with questionable provenance—people who fail to take initiative to establish that a property received or purchased has not been stolen can be charged with theft.
As mentioned above, penalties for a theft conviction depends mostly on the value of the property involved:
Property worth $99 or less (Class C misdemeanor) – fine up to $500
Property worth $100 to $749 (Class B misdemeanor) – fine up to $2,000
Property worth $750 to $2,499 (Class A misdemeanor) – jail sentence of up to one year, fine up to $4,000
Property worth $30,000 to $149,999 (Third-degree felony) – prison sentence from 2 to 10 years, fine up to $10,000
Property worth $150,000 to $299,999 (Second-degree felony) – prison sentence from 2 to 20 years, fine up to $10,000
Property worth $300,000 or more (First-degree felony) – prison sentence from 5 to 99 years, fine up to $10,000
Traffic violations are considered minor offenses and often do not have the stigma associated with felonies. The majority of tickets issued for traffic violations fall under Class C Misdemeanors, which can be fined up to $500. Having said that, traffic violations are still criminal offenses in the state of Texas. If left unmanaged, multiple traffic violations can result in stiff fines, significantly increase your auto insurance premiums, or ultimately cause the revocation of your driving license.
Traffic Ticket Laws
Drivers issued with traffic tickets have three options:
Pleading Guilty or No Contest - Driver will be required to pay the ticket and associated fines. Pleading guilty affords the driver room to negotiate lower penalties and points off his or her driving record by attending a Texas defensive driving class.
Pleading Not Guilty - The driver has the option to fight the ticker in traffic court. If he or she wins, then he or she walks away without penalties and violations on record. This is where an experienced lawyer's services are invaluable.
Traffic Ticket Penalties
Traffic violations have either 2 or 3 points associated with them. If a violation is committed, the associated points will be added to your Texas driver record and will remain there for 3 years from the date of conviction. If your driver record has accumulated 6 points, it will result in a surcharge that you have to pay until the points are reduced. The surcharges are computed as such:
$100 for the first 6 points
$25 for every point over 6
Federal Cases are cases that will be tried and decided in a US Federal Court. Federal court jurisdiction is limited to cases where the US is a party, cases involving violation of US Constitution or federal laws, cases between citizens of different states, and bankruptcy, copyright, patent and maritime law cases. Our law office can consult on such cases, and we can refer you to other firms that specialize in it.
If you are involved in any of the charges mentioned above, then you can benefit from the services of
Houston Criminal Lawyer That Will Fight For You
Joaquin Jimenez understands that being arrested for even the most minor of crimes can still be stressful and frightening, especially for first offenders. That is why he practices law with compassion and an open mind. As an experienced Houston criminal lawyer, he commits to doing his best to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. Let Joaquin Jimenez fight for you. Call us now to schedule a consultation.