There are many different types of theft crimes you can commit. Theft can include shoplifting, employee theft, and embezzlement. Furthermore, other theft crimes can include theft from a person, organized retail theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, burglary, and robbery. Theft crimes in Dallas can range from low-level misdemeanors all the way up to the most serious felony charges.

Theft crimes are crimes of what we call, moral turpitude.  What does this mean? Essentially this means that they are considered serious reflections on your character.

Theft allegations can damage:
  • Your reputation
  • Foreclose on employment and educational opportunities
  • Harm your family and future. Therefore, choosing the right Dallas theft lawyer is incredibly important.

This is why we’ve broken down most of the factors within a theft crime that you should be thinking about as you start the process, we want to help you get to the other side of this criminal case.

Let’s dissect the formal definition…

A person commits theft (Texas Penal Code § 31.03) if they unlawfully appropriate property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Appropriation of property is unlawful if:

  • it is without the owner’s effective consent; or
  • the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another. This is commonly called theft receiving or concealing stolen property).
  • to transfer or purported transfer of title to or other non-possessory interest in the property, whether to the actor or another; or
  • to acquire or otherwise exercise control over property other than real property.
Deprive means:
  • to withhold property from the owner permanently or for so extended a period of time that a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property is lost to the owner;
  • to restore property only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or
  • to dispose of the property in a manner that makes recovery of the property by the owner unlikely.

If you know that your theft crime has fallen under this definition, you’re in the right place to get more information.

It’s important to note that theft offenses are also sometimes known by other names.

For example, theft by false pretext, theft from the person, shoplifting, embezzlement, extortion, and receiving and concealing stolen property. Auto theft is sometimes charged as unauthorized use of a vehicle. This is especially the case if the prosecutor cannot prove theft but can show the use of the vehicle without the owner’s consent. For more information about the unauthorized use of motor vehicle charges in Dallas, see our unauthorized use of a vehicle page.


​​First and foremost, the prosecutor must prove their allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot rule out each and every possible reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence prevails. As a result, the court must find you not guilty. This means you don’t have to prove that you didn’t do it. You don’t have to prove anything!

The only way the prosecution wins is if the jury believes their story is the only reasonable way it could’ve happened. If they have any reasonable doubts that it actually happened, they must find you not guilty. If they reasonably think it could’ve happened another way, they must find you not guilty. This is the highest burden of proof in our justice system. When implemented by a skilled Dallas theft attorney, it can be a powerful weapon.

If you’re sitting there thinking, I’m not sure I understand…how likely am I to win and get a not guilty or a dismissal? Well, this is exactly the reason why it’s so important to have a good criminal defense attorney that has worked with theft crimes in Dallas before. An experienced Dallas theft attorney can break down the evidence in your case, make sure you fully understand the process and talk to you about various strategies and their likelihood of success.


Searching for theft lawyers in Dallas can be overwhelming. After all, you are choosing someone who will hold your life, your future, and your family’s future in their hands. You have to be comfortable with them and feel that you can trust the information and advice they giv you. Lawyers are supposed to always work in their clients’ best interests. That shouldn’t just be meaningless talk.

First, talk to several lawyers to get a feel for them and their staff. Do they take the time necessary to get to know you, to listen to what’s important to you, and answer your questions?

Second, do they show you that you matter to them as a person and not just as a fee?

Third, beware of lawyers who put the hard sell on you, who make big promises. No lawyer should ever make a guarantee about a case.

Finally, absolutely avoid a lawyer who doesn’t communicate the scope of the work and their fee clearly in a written contract.

If you or someone you love has been accused of theft in Dallas, contact the Law Office of Mike Howard. Dallas theft lawyer Mike Howard has the experience, trial skills, and dedication that you need when you are fighting for your life. We will do everything we can to fight for you. Moreover, Mr. Howard will give you an honest assessment of your case and explain the law and your legal options.

For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation, visit:

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