Bryan Grand Theft Lawyer

If you're facing grand theft charges in Bryan, Texas, you must retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Grand theft is a serious offense, and if convicted, you could face serious penalties, such as jail time, fines, probation, and more. Your criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life, potentially leading to problems finding work and housing and stripping you of certain constitutional rights. As scary as it is to face grand theft charges in Texas, you don't have to go through this alone. You may have solid defense options to fight the charges and obtain a favorable outcome, and a Bryan grand theft lawyer can explain your options and help you mount an effective defense. 

Call Shane Phelps Law today at (979) 775-4100 or contact us online to request a meeting with our grand theft attorney in Bryan. We'll review your case, advise you of your rights, and suggest the best course of action. We can also help you build a strong defense against the charges and work to mitigate the possible penalties you could face.

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What Is Considered Grand Theft in Texas?

In Texas, felony theft is called grand theft. The severity of the charge is based on the value of the property stolen.

The different levels of grand theft are:

  • Third-degree grand theft — $1,500 or less
  • Second-degree grand theft — $1,500-$20,000
  • First-degree grand theft — More than $20,000
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What are the Penalties for Grand Theft in Texas?

The penalties for grand theft in Texas will depend on the property's value. You can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property stolen.

The penalties for misdemeanor and felony grand theft are:

  • Misdemeanor: Up to $2,000 in fines and/or up to one year in jail
  • Felony: Between $2,000 and $30,000 in fines and between 2 and 10 years in prison

You can also be required to pay restitution to the victim, which is the amount of money they lost because of the theft.

What Should I Do If I'm Arrested for Grand Theft in Bryan, TX?

If you are arrested for grand theft in Bryan, TX, it's important to handle the situation carefully to protect your rights and legal standing. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Stay Calm and Compliant: Remain calm and do not resist arrest. Comply with the police officers' instructions.
  • Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. Politely inform the officers that you choose to remain silent and want to speak to an attorney.
  • Request an Attorney: Ask for a lawyer immediately. Do not discuss the case with the police without your attorney present. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
  • Do Not Consent to Searches: Do not consent to any searches of your person, vehicle, or property without a warrant. Politely decline any requests to search unless they have a legal warrant.
  • Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney: Contact a reputable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you do not know any attorneys, ask for recommendations from friends or family or look for one online.
  • Follow Legal Advice: Follow the advice of your attorney closely. Do not make any decisions or sign any documents without consulting your lawyer.
  • Prepare for Court: Your attorney will guide you through the court process, including hearings and trial preparation. Make sure to attend all scheduled court appearances.
  • Gather Evidence and Witnesses: Work with your attorney to gather any evidence or witnesses that can support your case. Provide your attorney with any information that might be relevant to your defense.
  • Understand the Charges: Ensure you fully understand the charges against you and the potential penalties. Your attorney can explain the specifics of Texas law regarding grand theft and the possible outcomes of your case.
  • Maintain Good Behavior: While awaiting trial, avoid any actions that could worsen your situation, such as committing additional offenses or violating the terms of your release. 

By following these steps, you can better navigate the legal process and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

Why Do I Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer to Handle My Grand Theft Case?

Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer for a grand theft case is crucial for several reasons:

  • Extensive Knowledge of the Law: Criminal defense lawyers have extensive knowledge of criminal law and understand the nuances of grand theft charges. They can identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and develop effective defense strategies.
  • Experience with Local Courts: An experienced lawyer will be familiar with the local court system, including judges, prosecutors, and court procedures in Bryan, TX. This insight can be beneficial in negotiating plea deals or navigating the trial process.
  • Protect Your Rights: A defense lawyer ensures that your constitutional rights are protected throughout the legal process. They will prevent unlawful searches and seizures, ensure you are not coerced into making statements, and challenge any violations of your rights.
  • Strategic Defense Planning: An experienced attorney can assess the evidence against you and determine the best defense strategy. This might include challenging the legality of the arrest, questioning the credibility of witnesses, or presenting exculpatory evidence.
  • Negotiation Skills: Skilled lawyers can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or secure favorable plea deals. They might be able to get charges reduced from grand theft to a lesser offense, which can significantly reduce potential penalties.
  • Trial Skills: If your case goes to trial, an experienced lawyer will be adept at presenting your case to a jury. They know how to cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and make persuasive arguments to achieve the best possible outcome.
  • Minimize Penalties: Grand theft convictions can result in severe penalties, including substantial fines, restitution, and imprisonment. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can work to minimize these penalties, potentially securing alternative sentencing options such as probation or community service.
  • Emotional Support and Guidance: Facing criminal charges is stressful and can be overwhelming. A lawyer provides not only legal support but also emotional guidance, helping you understand the process and making informed decisions.
  • Resource Access: Defense attorneys have access to a network of resources, including investigators, expert witnesses, and forensic specialists who can help build a robust defense.
  • Mitigating Long-Term Consequences: A criminal conviction can have long-term consequences on your life, affecting employment, housing, and reputation. An experienced lawyer will work to mitigate these impacts, aiming for outcomes like case dismissal or record expungement.

Overall, an experienced criminal defense lawyer is essential for effectively navigating the complexities of a grand theft case and achieving the best possible outcome.

How Do I Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer for My Case?

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for your grand theft case is crucial for a favorable outcome. Here are steps to help you make an informed decision:

  • Research and Gather Information: Look for reviews on websites like Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, and Google to gauge the reputation and performance of potential lawyers. Ask friends, family, or colleagues if they can recommend a good criminal defense lawyer. Check the Texas State Bar Association's website for a list of licensed criminal defense attorneys in Bryan, TX.
  • Assess Experience and Track Record: Ensure the lawyer handles criminal defense and has experience specifically with grand theft cases. In many cases, you want to choose a lawyer who handles criminal law exclusively rather than an attorney who handles a variety of practice areas. Look at the lawyer's past case results. Have they successfully defended clients with similar charges?
  • Check Credentials: Verify the attorney's educational background and any additional training or certifications in criminal law. Membership in professional organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) can indicate a commitment to staying informed about current legal trends and practices.
  • Schedule Consultations: Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. Use this opportunity to discuss your case, ask questions, and assess their communication style and willingness to help. Choose a lawyer who communicates clearly, listens to your concerns, and explains legal concepts in a way you can understand.
  • Ask the Right Questions: In assessing a lawyer, be sure to ask important questions, such as:
    • How many grand theft cases have they handled, and what were the outcomes?
    • What is your initial assessment of your case and potential defense strategies?
    • What is your fee structure? Do you charge a flat fee, hourly rate, or offer payment plans? Are there additional costs for investigators, expert witnesses, or other expenses?
  • Consider Compatibility: You should feel comfortable with your lawyer, as you will be working closely with them. Trust and mutual respect are important. Ensure the lawyer has the time and resources to dedicate to your case. Will they be personally handling your case, or will it be passed to a junior associate?
  • Review Client Testimonials and Case Results: Look for testimonials from previous clients to get an idea of their satisfaction with the lawyer's services. Some lawyers provide detailed case studies or summaries of past cases, which can give you insight into their approach and success rates.
  • Evaluate Professionalism and Ethics: Check if the lawyer has any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against them with the state bar association. Assess their professionalism during your interactions, including punctuality, preparedness, and responsiveness.

By thoroughly researching and considering these factors, you can choose a criminal defense lawyer who is well-equipped to handle your grand theft case and provide you with the best possible defense.

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What Are Possible Defenses to Grand Theft Charges?

Your attorney could explore several potential defenses against grand theft charges, depending on the specifics of your case. Here are some common defenses:

  • Lack of Intent/No Intent to Steal: One of the key elements of theft is the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. If you can show that you had no such intent, this can be a strong defense. For example, you might argue that you believed you had permission to take the property or that you intended to return it.
  • Mistake of Fact/Belief of Ownership: If you genuinely believed the property was yours, or you had a right to possess it, this can negate the intent to steal. This defense requires showing a reasonable belief in your ownership or right to use the property.
  • Lack of Evidence/Insufficient Proof: The prosecution must prove every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney can argue that the evidence presented is insufficient or unreliable to meet this standard.
  • Duress or Coercion/Forced to Commit Theft: If you committed the theft under threat of imminent harm to yourself or others, this can serve as a defense. Duress involves showing that you had no reasonable alternative but to commit the act.
  • Entrapment: Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officials induce you to commit a crime that you otherwise would not have committed. This defense requires proving that the idea to commit the crime originated with law enforcement and that you were not predisposed to commit it.
  • Mistaken Identity/Wrong Person Accused: If you can show that you were not the person who committed the theft, this can be a valid defense. This might involve providing an alibi, challenging witness identification, or presenting evidence that another person was responsible.
  • Alibi/Proof of Presence Elsewhere: Providing evidence that you were somewhere else when the theft occurred can completely exonerate you if it proves you could not have committed the crime.

Each defense requires specific evidence and legal arguments, which is why it is crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess your case and develop the most effective defense strategy.

Contact Our Bryan Grand Theft Attorney Today 

If you have been arrested for grand theft or shoplifting in Brazos County, Shane Phelps Law can help. As a former prosecutor, Shane Phelps has a unique perspective on both sides of the criminal justice system. He understands how prosecutors think and can use that insight to help you build the strongest defense possible.

Contact Shane Phelps Law today to schedule a FREE consultation grand theft lawyer in Bryan!