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
Cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles make tempting targets for break-ins. It makes sense because these high-priced items are left unattended, can easily be entered, and often have many valuable things inside to steal.
If you find the call to break into a vehicle far too tempting, you can be in the unfortunate position of facing theft charges in Texas. However, the kind of theft charges you can face is something to consider.
In Texas, the penalties a person convicted of breaking into a car can face differ from those in other theft situations. That’s why everyone needs to understand what the laws in Texas say about breaking into cars and burglarizing them.
There is a distinction under Texas law between burglary and the burglary of a motor vehicle. While both actions may include breaking, the penalties faced by the defendant are pretty separate.
A burglary occurs when a person enters a building or dwelling without the occupant’s consent.
The sentence for burglary is often a state jail felony. It could be upgraded to a felony in the first or second degree if the dwelling or building entered was to commit a more violent act other than theft, such as assault.
In Texas, burglary of a motor vehicle occurs when a person enters a vehicle without the consent of the operator or owner, intending to commit another crime, such as theft.
It is a misdemeanor if you are found guilty of this crime. There are some exceptions to this:
1) Anyone with two or more previous guilty verdicts for burglary of a motor vehicle, or
2) if the vehicle burglarized was a railcar.
In those situations, a state jail felony may get charged.
In circumstances where a vehicle is set up for use overnight, such as a camper, breaking into the vehicle would be considered burglary, and the penalties would more closely align with that crime.
It’s essential to understand the actions that constitute breaking into a motor vehicle and can land you with burglary of a motor vehicle charges in our state. Perhaps one of the most vital things to understand is that you don’t have to force your way into the vehicle to get charged with this offense.
Sure, you can break a window or pick the lock of the vehicle, but even opening the door of an unlocked car can be considered burglary of a motor vehicle. The point is that you are entering the vehicle without the owner’s consent.
You also need not fully enter the car to be charged. Just leaning in an open window to swipe something of value from the inside is enough to constitute this crime.
Finally, perhaps most importantly, you don’t need to steal anything to get charged. You need the intent to do so for a successful prosecution.
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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