HOUSTON FELONY THEFT CASE DISMISSED
A well respected Houston criminal defense lawyer referred a former client to me a few months ago for a felony theft case. This client was an all around nice guy with a great job, and a car hobby. He had a beautiful show car with custom paint, custom interior, custom sound, and a custom rims. All he needed was a high horsepower V8 to make his project car complete. So, he bought the engine and tried to have it installed. That is when he was charged with Felony Theft between $2,500 and $30,000.
THEY CAUGHT HIM RED-HANDED, BUT I PROVED HE WASN’T THE BANDIT.
Theft is a serious crime in Texas. Not only is theft ‘a crime of dishonesty’ that will be used again you in future trials, but it can cost you your job and your freedom. That is why you need a serious criminal defense attorney with experience representing people charged with theft. Theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The seriousness of the charge depends on the value of the allegedly stolen property. Generally, theft charges are as follows:
- Theft of $100-$750 is a Class B Misdemeanor
- Theft of $750-$2,500 is a Class A Misdemeanor
- Theft of $2,500-$30,000 is a State Jail Felony
- Theft of $30,000-$150,000 is a Third Degree Felony
- Theft of $150,000-$300,000 is a Second Degree Felony
- Theft of $300,000 or more is a First Degree Felony
HOUSTON TEXAS CRIMINAL FELONY THEFT LAWYER
My client was arrested when the person he hired to install the engine discovered that the engine was reported stolen by running the VIN number. The mechanic threatened my client by offering to install the engine for more money, or otherwise report my client to the police. My client did not know the engine was stolen and refused to pay the mechanic any more money. So, the mechanic came good on his word and reported my client to the police.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office took up the case. Unfortunately for my client, the investigator believed the mechanic’s statement that my client stole the engine without even running the mechanic’s criminal history. The investigator would have learned that the mechanic has a long history of crimes of dishonesty such as theft, fraud, and credit card abuse. The investigator then took possession of my client’s car and filed complaint in the Justice of the Peace Court to determine who the property belonged too. There is a funny story here that got me lot’s of respect with many criminal defense and traffic attorneys.
Unfortunately, the justice of the peace did not care much for the law or the facts, and he originally gave the car and the engine to the person from whom the car was stolen. The problem is that my client did not have that stolen car. I got that fixed within a week.
Of course my client was charged with felony theft the very next day. By the time we arranged from him to turn himself in and got our fist court date, I had almost completely investigated the entire case. I ran background checks on all people involved; I set up a witness list; I did scene visits; I made phone calls: I got criminal records: I researched social media; I spoke to the investigator: I called probation offices: I called the DA in another county: I gathered pictures, screenshots, and text messages; and I spoke to the complainant (victim) several times. By conducting an early, aggressive, and thorough investigation I was able not only prove that my client did not do it, but I also found out who the real thief was.
All-in-all, I was able to prove that my client did not steal the engine or buy the engine knowing it was stolen. If only the Harris County District Attorney’s Office did its work in a timely manner, the case would have been dismissed at the first trial setting. Instead, we had to wait for the second trial setting. To add a cherry to the top of this great felony theft dismissal is that my client can likely get an expedited expunction because there was clearly no crime committed.
Give Experienced Houston, Texas Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer Cory Roth a call today.
713 864 3400