Theft is one of the broadest crimes in the Penal Code. Certain Section 31.01 offenses trigger no consequences at all. Iny many places, police do not respond to shoplifting calls if the value was less than $50. At the other end of the spectrum, some thieves spend more time in prison than some murderers or rapists. These large theft cases often involve complex Ponzi schemes and other frauds.
Typically, the penalty depends on the value of the good or service. However, since we live in Parker County, cattle rustlin’ and horse stealin’ are considered worse than other similar crimes. Additionally, many things constitute theft under the law. Some of these things are outlined below.
This type of theft is probably the most common, and broadest, one. Taking property without paying for it is obviously against the law. But this prohibition also applies to any use of force, no matter how slight. So, it’s also illegal to underring items at the checkout counter or move an item to the discount section.
Issuing a Bad Check
Yes, people still occasionally write checks. And, issuing a bad check is a crime of moral turpitude. CMTs significantly affect your future. It is not illegal to bounce a check. It is illegal to write a check if you know there is not enough money in the account to cover it at the time. Floating a check is usually not illegal, and writing an insufficient fund postdated check is not illegal either.
Over-Using Rental Property
This provision often applies to people who keep rental vehicles past the due date. Generally, if the overuse extends ten days, rental companies file criminal charges. As in all theft cases, someone from the rental agency must provide testimony in court. However, this person need not be the record owner. Anyone with a superior right of possession, even a rental clerk, suffices.
Sometimes, evildoers use threats of force instead of actual force. Bullying is one example. Quite often, the property at stake is a lot more than lunch money. Additionally, blackmail is also considered theft. In all these cases, unlike assault by threat prosecution in Texas, the threat of violence need not be a credible or immediate one.
Investment fraud schemes are a good example of theft by deception. However, the defendant must make false statements about current facts. If the defendant says she is investing your money when, in fact, she is pocketing it, that’s theft. On the other hand, if the defendant makes empty promises about future returns, that may be illegal, but it’s not theft.
There are many different kinds of theft, and prosecutors must prove them all beyond a reasonable doubt. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. After-hours visits are available.