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Theft and Shoplifting

Whether you have been charged with theft from a person, theft from a store, theft of service, or another theft charge, it is important to understand how a theft charge can affect your criminal record. The most common theft charges we see (not in order) are:

Theft under $100; Class C Misdemeanor

Theft between $100 and $750; Class B Misdemeanor

Theft between $750 and $2,500; Class A Misdemeanor

Theft between $2,500 and $30,000; State Jail Felony


Effects of a Theft Case on your Criminal Record

Having a theft case on your criminal record has many different negative effects, but the one that stands out the most is with future or current employment. Many companies looking for employees do not hire people with a theft charge on his or her record. The companies usually do not take the time to understand what really happened during the alleged theft, or to understand the person accused and what circumstances or life experiences make them who they are today. Additionally, sometimes current employers will suspend or fire people if they learn that they have been arrested for theft.

Our main focus for Theft cases is to try and make sure that the arrest and case record can eventually be erased from your criminal history through an Expunction (see expunction information under “services offered” > “Expunctions or Non-Disclosures”).  There are a few different ways someone can be eligible for an expunction, which can be discussed with a knowledgeable attorney.


Collin County’s Burden to Blessing Pre-Trial Diversion Program

Collin County offers a Pre-Trial Diversion Program for low-level offenders. This is often referred to as the “PTD Program” or just “PTD.” PTD is, “a 6 to 12-month innovative, affordable probation path that includes life and job skills training to put participants on a more successful path than the one that led to the offense.” Upon successful completion of the PTD program, you will be automatically eligible for an Expunction (for your records to be erased). The PTD Application process can be confusing if you haven’t been through it before. You must submit many different documents that each have a lot of information, details, and requirements.

Having a knowledgeable attorney who is an expert in the pre-trial diversion application process can make the difference between you being accepted into the program or denied.


Being Proactive with your Case

A trial or a pre-trial diversion program is not always right for every case. If a trial or PTD is not right for your case, there are still many options available to you- A Dismissal, a Conditional Dismissal, a Plea, etc…. A conditional dismissal is the Court agreeing to dismiss your case, with the condition that you complete something(s) first. Sometimes the conditions are an online course, community service hours, a donation to a non-profit organization, or something else. When you “Plea” a case, you are entering into an agreement with the State on what your punishment should be. Whether it is a probation term or a short jail sentence, it is important that you have an attorney who will fight for the best deal possible for you. Sometimes, for the State to agree to a certain Plea offer, they will want to see some proactive things completed. Again, this could be online courses, community service hours, a donation to a non-profit organization, or something else. It is important to meet with an attorney early on, so that you can get a head start on any proactive things you may need to complete. Your attorney can then use it as additional leverage to work out the best deal possible for your case.