Bedford Theft Lawyer

Theft is the most common criminal charge in Bedford, but that does not mean theft charges are something you should take lightly. If you're facing a theft charge in Bedford, you must take the matter seriously because you can bet the prosecutors will.
Whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony depends upon the value of the property involved, but either can lead to serious consequences that can haunt your future. Neither should be left to chance or the discretion of the prosecutor, and you want to do all you can to defend yourself and take an active role in your defense.
If you were arrested or are under investigation for theft in Bedford, seek the skilled legal guidance of a seasoned Bedford theft lawyer sooner rather than later. An experienced criminal defense attorney at the Fulgham Law Firm can review your case at no cost and advise you of your rights and options. We can also help you prepare a solid defense strategy and present it to the court. All the while, we will advocate strongly on your behalf to help you obtain the best possible outcome. Contact us today at (817) 877-3030 for a free consultation.

Why Should I Choose Fulgham Law Firm to Help Me Defend Against Theft Charges?

The legal team at the Fulgham Law Firm now includes five former prosecutors, which adds up to more than 80 years of combined experience and hundreds of jury trials under our belts. Our Bedford criminal defense lawyers have the kind of legal background that can make a serious difference in your case, and we're standing by to help.
We opened our boutique criminal defense firm more than 13 years ago, forging our practice on our knowledge of the court’s practices and our hands-on experience with criminal litigation. We are impassioned trial advocates who zealously defend the legal rights of the accused, and we have achieved a long record of obtaining acquittals, dismissals, and reductions of charges for our clients.
If you’re facing a theft charge in Bedford, you have the option of turning to court-appointed counsel, but you should know they typically have heavy caseloads that leave them with little time or energy to focus on your challenging case. They also often lack the legal resources to build your strongest defense, and they typically don't provide the level of zealous representation you deserve to get the positive results you seek. You should also be aware that the court often orders clients to repay the expense of a court-appointed attorney over time, so you'll end up paying for a lawyer either way.
The legal team at Fulgham Law Firm gives our undivided attention to every case we take on, and it shows. When you work with us, you can expect a defense that’s tailored to the evidence and facts of your case. We embrace a holistic approach that is never one size fits all, and we will use every conceivable resource in our efforts to resolve your theft case as effectively and efficiently as possible. We’re just a phone call away, and we encourage you to give the Fulgham Law Firm a call at 817-877-3030 to request your free consultation today.

When Should I Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The sooner you have legal counsel in your corner, the sooner they can begin gathering all the available evidence, including the following:
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Security camera footage
  • Any physical evidence from the site of the alleged theft
Over time, evidence has a way of disappearing or degrading, and acting quickly is of the essence. Additionally, the DA's office often acts on criminal charges quickly, with misdemeanor cases reaching trial in as few as 90 to 180 days. In other words, waiting to consult with an attorney and begin focusing on your strongest defense is not going to do you or your case any favors.
Presenting a compelling theft defense early on has many advantages, which include putting you in a better position to engage in effective negotiations. When your savvy theft charge attorney approaches the prosecutor without delay, the prosecutor may be more inclined to drop the charge entirely – or to strike an advantageous plea deal or diversion.

Theft Charges in Texas

The charge of theft in Texas is a property crime that involves the unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property. The charge of theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property in question.  Common theft charges in Bedford include:
  • Shoplifting
  • The purchase of stolen property
  • The passing of a bad check
  • Auto theft

Fines and Penalties for Theft in Texas

The fines and penalties for theft in Texas vary depending on the value of the stolen property and the degree of the offense, as classified under the Texas Penal Code. Here's a general overview:

Class C Misdemeanor:

  • Theft of property valued at less than $100.
  • Fines of up to $500.

Class B Misdemeanor:

  • Theft of property valued at $100 or more but less than $750.
  • Fines of up to $2,000.
  • Confinement in county jail for up to 180 days.

Class A Misdemeanor:

  • Theft of property valued at $750 or more but less than $2,500.
  • Fines of up to $4,000.
  • Confinement in county jail for up to one year.

State Jail Felony:

  • Theft of property valued at $2,500 or more but less than $30,000.
  • Fines of up to $10,000.
  • Confinement in a state jail for 180 days to two years.

Third-Degree Felony:

  • Theft of property valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000.
  • Fines of up to $10,000.
  • Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 2 to 10 years.

Second-Degree Felony:

  • Theft of property valued at $150,000 or more but less than $300,000.
  • Fines of up to $10,000.
  • Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 2 to 20 years.

First-Degree Felony:

  • Theft of property valued at $300,000 or more.
  • Fines of up to $10,000.
  • Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 5 to 99 years or life.
It's important to note that these penalties are associated with theft charges based on the value of the stolen property. Other factors, such as prior convictions or aggravating circumstances, can lead to enhanced penalties.
In addition to fines and imprisonment, a court may order restitution, requiring the offender to compensate the victim for the value of the stolen property. Restitution is intended to reimburse the victim for their losses resulting from the theft.
If you are facing theft charges in Texas, it's crucial to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can provide advice based on the specific details of your case and help you navigate the legal process.

Basic Defense Strategies for Theft

You want to work with a qualified criminal defense attorney to build a strategy tailored to your specific situation. Some basic defense strategies that may apply to your case include:
Lack of Intent: Your attorney could argue that there was no intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. For instance, you may have mistakenly taken an item, or you had a good faith belief that you had permission to take it.
  • Mistaken Identity: Your lawyer may assert that you were wrongly identified as the person responsible for the theft. This defense may involve presenting evidence that you were not present at the location of the alleged theft or that there is confusion about the identity of the perpetrator.
  • Consent: If you had the owner's permission or believed you had permission to take the property, your attorney may assert a defense based on consent. This defense can be complex and may involve establishing that the owner's consent was valid.
  • Ownership Claim: Your attorney could claim that you believed you had a legitimate claim of ownership to the property. This may involve presenting evidence that you had a right to possess or use the property.
  • Insufficient Evidence: Your lawyer can challenge the prosecution's evidence, such as questioning the reliability of witnesses or the accuracy of the valuation of the stolen property. If the prosecution fails to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, it can strengthen your defense.
  • Duress or Coercion: Your attorney could argue that you were forced or coerced into committing the theft against your will. This defense may involve presenting evidence of threats or pressure that compelled you to act.
  • Entrapment: Your lawyer may claim that you were induced to commit the theft by law enforcement. To successfully assert entrapment, your attorney typically needs to show that you would not have committed the crime if not for the actions of law enforcement.
  • Age or Mental State: If you are a minor or have a diminished mental capacity, your lawyer may assert a defense based on your inability to fully comprehend the consequences of your actions.
  • Chain of Custody Issues: Your attorney could challenge the integrity of the evidence by questioning the chain of custody. If there are issues with how the evidence was handled or preserved, it may weaken the prosecution's case.
Remember, the effectiveness of these defense strategies can vary based on the specific circumstances of your case. You must consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess the details of your situation, advise you on the best course of action, and represent you in court.

What Should I Do After Being Arrested for Theft in Bedford, TX?

If you've been arrested for theft in Bedford, TX, it's important to take specific steps to protect your rights and build a strong defense. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
  • Remain Calm: It's natural to feel stressed or anxious, but try to remain calm. Resisting arrest or becoming confrontational can escalate the situation.
  • Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. Politely inform law enforcement that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent until you have consulted with an attorney.
  • Do Not Consent to Searches: You have the right to refuse searches of your person, belongings, or property. If law enforcement asks for consent to search, you can politely decline.
  • Request an Attorney: If you are arrested, ask for an attorney immediately. You have the right to legal representation during any police questioning.
  • Provide Only Basic Information: While it's important to remain silent about the details of the alleged crime, you may need to provide basic identification information, such as your name and address.
  • Be Mindful of Your Words: Avoid making statements that could be construed as admissions of guilt. Wait until you have legal representation before discussing the details of the case.
  • Document the Arrest: If possible, take note of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, including the names and badge numbers of the arresting officers, the location, and any potential witnesses.
  • Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney: Once you have the opportunity, contact a criminal defense attorney with experience in theft cases. An attorney can provide guidance on your specific situation, explain your rights, and help you navigate the legal process.
  • Understand the Charges: Ask your attorney to explain the charges against you and the potential consequences. Understanding the nature of the allegations is crucial for building a defense strategy.
  • Appear in Court: Attend all court hearings as required. Failure to appear can result in additional legal consequences.
  • Do Not Discuss the Case: Avoid discussing the details of your case with anyone other than your attorney. Statements made to friends, family, or others can potentially be used against you.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re facing a theft charge, you have questions, and the answers to those that are asked most frequently by others in your situation can help.

How does the state prove theft charges?

The prosecution has the burden of proving that you intentionally or knowingly took the property in question without the consent of the owner and with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. Further, the prosecution must prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.  Proving intent often hinges on evidence that is related to hiding one’s actions. Someone who skulks around and takes off with something that doesn’t belong to them is more likely to demonstrate intent than someone who innocently picks something up without attempting to hide their action in any way.
Defenses aimed at denying intent tend to focus on the theft in question being accidental or mistaken, and this often applies to shoplifting cases. We’ve all dashed through a self-checkout and almost forgotten to scan an item or two – or failed to lift a heavy object from the cart for the cashier to scan. If you don’t catch yourself in the process, it can lead to theft charges, but the prosecution may have a difficult time proving intent.
When there is doubt regarding one’s intent, it can derail the prosecution’s case and can lead to the court dismissing the case.

Is it theft or shoplifting?

Texas law does not differentiate between theft and shoplifting. When the accused takes property from a store intentionally to permanently deprive the store of the property, theft charges apply. The nature of the charge depends on the value of the property taken.

What will happen if I’m arrested for theft?

If you are charged with theft, you’ll likely be arrested and transported to the county jail, processed, questioned, arraigned, and required to post bail in order to secure your release. Throughout, the police will investigate the situation in order to determine whether the crime can be proven, which includes collecting evidence at the scene and interviewing any witnesses. The stronger they believe their case is, the less likely they are to budge on the charge.

What do I need to know about the jail in Bedford, TX?

The Bedford jail is actually located in Euless at the following address:
Euless Police Department Jail Facility
1102 W. Euless Boulevard
Euless, TX 76040
The jail is open 24/7, and the public can call 817-685-1577 or 817-685-1576 to speak with a detention officer to determine whether someone is in custody. They can also inquire in person at the jail lobby on site.

Call Us Right Now To Get Help

(817) 813-8013

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

Facing a theft charge in Bedford? It can be overwhelming, but taking proactive measures now, such as reaching out to the Fulgham Law Firm for help, can prove invaluable. We have an impressive track record of helping clients like you obtain favorable resolutions that include having their charges dismissed or significantly reduced, and we’re well prepared to also help you.

The outcome of your case is important to your future, and we have the resources, experience, and background to help. Learn more by giving us a call at 817-877-3030 or contacting us online and scheduling your free consultation today.