The Legal and Financial Consequences of a Texas Identity Theft Conviction
Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or otRead More
If you get charged with shoplifting in Texas, you must treat it as a very serious matter. Shoplifting is a form of theft. All theft cases, including shoplifting, are considered “ crimes of moral turpitude.” “Crimes of moral turpitude,” like theft, are crimes that reflect poorly on a person’s character for honesty.
Job applications routinely ask if a person has ever been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. This question is asked because employers do not want to hire someone dishonest and might steal from them. For this reason, it is vitally important that a person do everything they legally can to avoid a shoplifting conviction. A shoplifting conviction can make it very difficult to obtain future employment.
To protect your future employability, hiring an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer is essential. You need an excellent criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your shoplifting charge and avoid the long-term negative impact of a conviction.
To prove shoplifting, the prosecution must show that the accused intentionally took merchandise from a store without paying for it. Consequently, it is a defense against shoplifting if the accused accidentally took something without intending to steal it.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will examine all the prosecution’s evidence of any alleged shoplifting. If the prosecution’s case is based on eyewitness testimony, then the reliability of the eyewitness identification must be examined. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will examine whether the identification was reliable. He should ask:
What were the lighting conditions like at the time of the alleged theft?
How long did the eyewitness see the alleged event?
What description did the eyewitness give of the suspect?
Did the description match the accused?
What amount of time passed between the theft and the suspect’s apprehension?
What were the circumstances surrounding the identification?
Were the circumstances suggestive?
What did the officer say to the eyewitness before the identification was made?
How solid or certain was the identification?
All of these are factors that may be used to attack the reliability of the identification. Mistaken identification is quite common.
If the prosecution has security camera footage, it also must be examined. Store security cameras do not always produce clear results.
If the prosecution’s case is weak, the defense counsel may choose to push for dismissal.
If the prosecution’s case is strong, defense counsel may push for dismissal upon completing an anti-theft class. If the prosecution does not dismiss, the defense may wish to highlight the accused’s lack of criminal record and push for a pre-trial diversion agreement. A pre-trial diversion agreement is a written agreement between the prosecution and the defense. The agreement typically lasts one year. There are typically conditions like community service, but there is no guilty plea, no finding of guilt, and no conviction. Upon successful completion of a pretrial diversion agreement, the state agrees to dismiss the shoplifting charges. When the prosecution can make its case, this may be the best way to protect the accused from a conviction. A dismissal protects the accused’s record. Protecting their long-term record is vitally important when a person is charged with shoplifting.
One of the most important steps to defend yourself against shoplifting charges is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case. They can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and help you pursue alternative sentencing options if they are available.
Understanding your legal rights when facing shoplifting charges in Texas is important. For instance, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It’s crucial to exercise these rights and avoid making statements to the police or the store’s security personnel without an attorney present. What you say can be used against you in court, so it’s important to be cautious and seek legal advice before speaking.
Client was charged by Federal Indictment with making a social media post that threatened Malicious Damage and Destruction of a Building by Means of Fire and Explosives in violation of Federal law. The Defense showed that Client was a law-abiding citizen. The Defense further showed that the alleged threat was not made with any criminal intent.
The client, a public official with a long history of public service, was accused by a former girlfriend of engaging in non-consensual sexual relations. The Defense investigation and analysis showed through a detailed timeline that the allegation made absolutely no sense. Phone records, including calls and texts, were relied on to help establish an accurate timeline. The Defense met with law enforcement and reviewed a detailed package that exonerated the accused.
Client, a Houston area professional who frequently travels for work, was accused by his wife of assaulting her in his family home. Defense showed that wife’s story lacked credibility and there was no physical evidence in support of the wife’s allegation.
The client, a young Black male, was driving his car when police pulled him over for no apparent reason. It looked to be a profile stop. The client was accused of possessing a controlled substance in his vehicle. The Defense showed that there was no lawful basis for the police to stop the Client’s car. The Defense also showed that there was no lawful basis for the search of the Client’s car. It was a bad search, so the seized evidence was not admissible.
Client charged in Federal Indictment In “Operation Wrecking Ball” with 55 named co-defendants. Client faced seven charges. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Client was also charged with four counts of Distribution of Cocaine and one count of Money laundering.
Allegations involved client’s alleged use of his home to distribute cocaine. Government’s lengthy investigation involved numerous wiretaps, surveillance, video, pole cams, search warrants, vehicle stops and use of cooperating co-defendants.
Client went to trial with four remaining defendants. After a two-week trial, Judge granted Motion for Acquittal on four of the seven charges. Jury found Client Not Guilty of remaining three charges.
Client charged in Federal Court with two counts of Wire Fraud related to Five SBA EIDL loan applications. The Government alleged the client, a Houston professional, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of over $150,000. The Client faced up to 20 years in prison on each count. The Defense investigated the case and negotiated a deal that included the Government not opposing a probation. The Federal Guideline calculation was for a prison sentence and the Probation Department recommended a prison sentence. Attorney Fickman submitted a 90 page Defense Sentencing Memorandum asking for Probation.
Client was retired professional. Client was accused of being involved in a road rage incident in 1960 Area. Defense put together a 100 page memorandum that demonstrated complainant was actual aggressor.
Client was accused of touching child. Case involved thousands of pages of psychiatric and Child Protective Services records as well as investigations by multiple police departments. After three- year fight, case dismissed.
Client accused of shoving and knocking down family member causing injury. After investigation, charges were dismissed.
Client was accused of knocking disruptive student against the wall. Videotape of incident was obtained. Witnessed located and interviewed. On the day of trial, case was dismissed
Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or other illegal activities. “Identifying information” includes:
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