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Facing Theft or Shoplifting Charges?
Protect Your Freedom
Before Time Runs Out.

Austin Theft Defense Lawyers

Shoplifting Attorneys in Central Texas

Getting accused of stealing can be can be an embarrassing ordeal. Depending on the value of the alleged loss, a theft charge can range anywhere from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. The penalties can range anywhere from a simple fine to time in prison. The consequences of pleading guilty to a theft charge follow you for the rest of your life. Theft is a “crime of moral turpitude” and many potential employers, universities, and other agencies will require you to list it on an application.

Aggressive Defense Strategies

The State of Texas aggressively prosecutes theft cases. This is why you need to mount an aggressive defense. The State of Texas is working against you. You need someone working for you. We will work for you. Smith & Vinson Law Firm represents client’s accused of theft in Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto and all around the Central Texas area. Contact us now for a free consultation at (512) 359-3743.

You need a competent, qualified Austin criminal defense attorney on your side that can review the evidence and fight the State of Texas to keep a theft conviction off your record. In many situations, there can be a resolution that does not end with a conviction on your record. There may be diversion programs available that can avoid a conviction on your record. If there was a complaining witness, many times district attorney’s offices are more concerned about getting restitution back to them then the actual conviction on your record. There are many more options available than just pleading guilty to theft. Let Smith & Vinson Law Firm review your case and fight for you.

Austin Shoplifting Lawyers

If you are in a large chain retail store, such as Wal-Mart or Target, store security will detain you and question you before calling the police. While a shoplifting charge may seem minor, a theft conviction of any type can follow you for the rest of your life. It will show up on any routine background check and could ruin your chances at getting the job of your dreams or qualifying for that scholarship you need for school. Whether you are accused of stealing a $60,000 car or a $2 candy bar, a theft charge must be taken very seriously.

Types of Theft Crimes

There are many different types of theft crimes. Generally, the State of Texas will need to show two things before they can convict you of a theft crime: 1) that you had criminal intent, meaning you took the property with the intent to steal it, and 2) that you had possession of the property.

Some of the more common theft crimes are:

  • Shoplifting
  • Writing bad checks
  • Check forgery
  • Credit card theft
  • Identity theft
  • Buying or accepting stolen property
  • Auto theft
  • Fraud or embezzlement
  • Burglary
  • Robbery

Each crime requires proof of different elements and has different defenses available. And, for each element of the charged offense, the State of Texas has the burden of proving them beyond a reasonable doubt. You are innocent until proven guilty. If you are facing theft charges you need a criminal defense attorney who understands these differences. Smith & Vinson Law Firm will fight for you. We will do everything we can to make sure a theft charge does not destroy your life.

Punishment

Theft crimes are punished based on the value of the property taken.

AMOUNT

CLASSIFICATION

PENALTY

Less than $50, or less than $20 if by check

Class C misdemeanor

Fine of up to $500

$50 or more but less than $500, or $20 but less than $500 if by check

Class B misdemeanor

Up to 180 days in county jail

Fine of up to $2,000

$500 or more, but less than $1,500

Class A misdemeanor

Up to 1 year in county jail

Fine of up to $4,000

$1,500 or more, but less than $20,000

State jail felony

Between 180 days and 2 years in state jail

Up to $10,000 fine

$20,000 or more, but less than $100,000

Third-degree felony

Between 2 and 10 years in prison

Fine of up to $10,000

$100,000 to $200,000

Second-degree felony

Between 2 and 20 years in prison

Fine of up to $10,000

$200,000 or more

First-degree felony

Between 5 and 99 years in prison

Fine of up to $10,000

What to Do If You Are Accused of Shoplifting in A Retail Store

Cooperate with security. In most cases, you will be confronted by either the retail security or a Loss Prevention Officer. Remain calm and do not try to flee. Most major retailers will call the police when they suspect shoplifting, and fleeing police or resisting arrest could lead to additional charges.

If questioned by store employees, request a witness. Request that either another employee or the store manager be present during questioning. Make sure you take down everyone’s name and job title.

Carefully read all paperwork before signing it. Store policy will require most places to write an incident report. If you are asked to sign it, make sure you read it thoroughly before you do so. Refuse to sign any document with incorrect or incomplete information.

Call Smith & Vinson Law Firm. Before you leave the store, the store manager will have likely called the police. If you have been arrested or given a citation and/or a court date, call us immediately for a free consultation. Jarrod Smith and Brad Vinson are aggressive criminal defense lawyers who are on call 24/7 to review your case.

Most major retail stores will prosecute shoplifters to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of the value of the property taken. Further, returning the items or paying restitution will not prevent charges from being filed. It is, therefore, imperative that you not attempt to handle a shoplifting or theft charge on your own. Call us immediately, so that we can begin interviewing witnesses, locating security camera footage, and reviewing the offense reports. Remember, the State of Texas must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intent to steal. Many retail security staff detain suspects before they even attempt to leave the store and write incident reports that are one-sided and missing key factual details. Jarrod Smith and Brad Vinson can mount an aggressive defense. Let us fight for you.

Austin Theft Crimes Attorneys

If you have been arrested or charged with a theft offense in Austin, Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm.

At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we take your theft charges seriously and fight to protect your constitutional rights. Jarrod Smith and Brad Vinson are aggressive trial lawyers that will fight for you from day one to get the best possible resolution for your case.

Contact our office today for a free initial consultation. Call (512) 359-3743 now.

Our Clients Are Our Biggest Endorsers
Hear What They Have to Say

  • Professional representation at its best!

    “First and foremost, I would like to thank Brad and Jarrod for handling my case. Both of these men represented with much professionalism and didn't at all treat me like a criminal. At times I was skeptical since I was facing so much uncertainty. Both men obviously could not predict the outcome of things, but assured me that they will work hard for me. They sure kept their promise on that! Both men took the time to get to know me and my situation before designing a plan to represent me. When I was in doubt with much fear they reassured me that "things will be all right". I am grateful for the representation both men have provided me and without hesitation I would speak volumes of their service. Thank you so much!”

    Victor

  • From the moment I spoke with him I was certain I had found the right person to represent me.

    “When I was charge with my DWI case, my son was able to attain Mr. Smith's number. From the moment I spoke with him I was certain I had found the right person to represent me. Mr. Smith was able to explain in detail what we were facing and what to expect. He kept in touch through the whole procedure and was able to walk me through every procedure that I needed to follow. I feel very satisfied with the results, Jarrod is a very trust-worthy person, I personally, highly recommend him. He was even able to help out with went as fast as to work on the payments without any hesitation.”

    Previous Client

  • Fought super hard for my case

    “Jarrod is very professional and fought super hard for my case. I couldn't have asked for a better attorney to represent me. I highly recommend!”

    Previous Client

  • Second to NONE

    “I would love to add my thanks and heart felt appreciation for the help that your law firm provided me. Before I met you guys my situation looked very bleak and quite honestly your dedication to my case really carried over this past year and the reward was not only one felony dismissal but two. Thank you from the Ramirez family, I will always be great full and you guys have earned a spot in my family. For anyone reading, this firm is second to NON, they know what there talking about and do exactly what they promise to do. Very professional, on time and and educate you along the whole process. I had alot to lose and you guys gave it all back to me and finally represented what true Justice is here in America. God bless you both and God bless your firm”

    Manuel R.

  • He's a real lawyer!

    “A civil issue arose in Austin with a family member. We sought the advice of a well named Austin attorney. This unnamed attorney provided egregious legal advice. In court, a lifetime civil injunction was ruled by the judge on this non-criminal civil issue. Once learning of this judgement we immediately started looking for another attorney and found Brad Vinson, with Smith and Vinson. Simply put, Brad had this entire debacle reversed and a new judgement set for what is customarily ruled in similar cases. It didn't take long either. I only wish we had called Brad first. He's a real lawyer!”

    David

  • Texas Bar College
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Avvo 5 Star Reviews
  • Avvo Clients' Choice Award

Why Hire Us?

  • We are accessible to you. Our attorneys can be reached 24/7.
  • Bold and fearless defense are what we are known for.
  • Turn to us for straightforward legal advice when you need it.
  • We offer free consultations to every single client served.