If someone presses charges against you for theft, a judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. A police officer will then locate and arrest you, and you’ll be booked at the local police station. You’ll then be held in police custody as you await a court hearing, which will usually take place within 48 hours. During the hearing, the judge will present your charges and you’ll need to enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty.
In short, yes. Offenders can be arrested before they’ve had the chance to carry anything out of the store or property. While a theft did not actually occur, they could still be charged with shoplifting if there’s proof—like camera footage, for example—that they intended to steal property from the owner.
In Texas, the state can implicate you for the conduct of another person. The law states that “a person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if, acting with the intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the person to commit the offense.” This means that you can get in trouble if you helped your friend shoplift or were involved in the crime, but the prosecution must show evidence that you were an accomplice—simply being there at the time of the crime isn’t enough to get you in trouble.
If you’ve been falsely accused, the best thing to do is to hire a lawyer. They will likely be able to gather evidence to prove your innocence, which is especially important if your case goes to trial. If you’ve been falsely accused of stealing and have been taken into custody, you have a right to an attorney, and you should hire a lawyer to fight for you as soon as possible.
All theft charges are not the same. They vary in severity, depending on the circumstances of the crime—including the value of the property that was stolen. Theft charges are classified as follows:
Petty theft is typically classified as theft of property under $500. Depending on your circumstances, you could go to jail for up to 180 days for a petty theft.
The punishment for theft in Texas varies, depending on the severity of your case. If your case is resolved by a plea, it’s important to note that misdemeanor probation can last up to 24 months and include conditions such as paying heavy fines. The penalties for theft by class is as follows:
Theft is a crime of moral turpitude, meaning it involved dishonesty and deceit, bringing your personal morality into question. A theft charge or conviction on your record can often be a red flag for potential employers and impact your employability.
There are a couple of ways to keep a theft charge off your record, but the chances of being able to do this depend on a number of factors, including the specific circumstances of the case and the background of the person who committed the theft. Your lawyer can review the facts of your case and identify whether they can disprove that the alleged theft or shoplifting occurred the way the state says it did, or if there’s reasonable cause to believe that you’re innocent. If there’s proof that the theft did occur, your lawyer can try the mitigation approach where they convince the prosecutor that it was a one-time misjudgment, a result of peer pressure, etc. Overall, there are multiple ways to keep a theft case off your record—it just depends on the route your lawyer decides is best.
If you’ve been taken into custody, a bail bondsman can get you out of jail while you await your hearing. When charges have been pressed, a warrant will be issued and police officers will arrest you. Once you’ve been booked, the normal protocol is for them to keep you in custody until your hearing, where a judge will read your charges and decide if your case will go to trial. To be released while you wait, you’ll need to make bail—and that’s where a bail bondsman comes in.
PCS Bail Bonds has bail bond agents available 24/7 to serve you. Call us today to find out more about our bail bond services.