The state of Texas takes the property rights of all its residents very seriously. As a result, any alleged criminal offense in which a person’s property is stolen or damaged by another individual can be aggressively prosecuted and may result in steep consequences.
Many alleged property crimes are committed by people who are unaware of the penalties their offenses entail. Even misdemeanor property crimes can still carry some very long-term consequences because of the criminal records that can result if the cases end with guilty pleas or convictions.
Attorney for Property Crime Arrests in Fort Worth, TX
If you think you might be under investigation or you were already arrested in North Central Texas for any kind of alleged property crime, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC aggressively defends clients throughout Tarrant County accused of misdemeanor and felony property offenses, including Arlington, Fort Worth, and several surrounding areas.
Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers Townsend, Gebhardt, and Eppes also represent individuals in many surrounding areas of Johnson County and Parker County, such as Cleburne, Weatherford, and many others. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call 817-502-3600 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Tarrant County Property Crimes Information Center
Types of Property Crimes in Texas
Property crimes include a variety of offenses in which an alleged offender damages the property of another party. Some criminal charges result from witnesses observing and identifying alleged offenders while others stem from investigations when there are no witnesses.
The way that an alleged offender damages property often determines the specific property crime that person is charged with. The amount of damage that is caused often determines the grade of the alleged offense.
Some of the common property crimes that people are charged with in Tarrant County include:
- Burglary of a Motor Vehicle
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Trespass
Property Crime Defenses in Tarrant County
Several property crimes require a prosecutor to prove that an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly damaged the property of another party. Texas Penal Code § 6.02 establishes that in such offenses in which the definition of a criminal offense requires a culpable mental state, “a person does not commit an offense unless he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence engages in conduct as the definition of the offense requires.”
Texas Penal Code § 6.03 provides the following definitions for culpable mental states, which are classified according to relative degrees, from highest to lowest, as follows:
- Intentional — A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result;
- Knowing — A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result;
- Reckless — A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint; and
- Criminal Negligence — A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.
Culpable mental states are not always easy to prove, and an individual facing criminal charges relating to any property crime may be able to raise any one of a number of defenses. Every case is different and certain unique situations allow for defenses that are not applicable to other cases, but a few of the most common defenses against property crime charges include:
- Duress or Coercion — Involves actions taken by people who were threatened if they did not commit the alleged offense;
- Justification — Applies to allegedly criminal actions taken (perhaps in an emergency situation) in order to prevent a greater public or private harm;
- Mistake — Alleged offenders may have presumed property was theirs or they had permission to commit certain offenses; or
- Renunciation —Certain people may have declined to participate in criminal acts or made an effort to prevent such acts from occurring.
Texas Resources for Property Crimes
Citizen Awareness Programs | Fort Worth, Texas, Police Department (FWPD) — Visit this section of the FWPD website to learn more about programs that communities and citizens can use to prevent or address property crimes in their neighborhoods. Find information about neighborhood crime watch groups, Citizens on Patrol, and vehicle window etching. You can also view a map of the FWPD’s patrol divisions.
Fort Worth Police Department
505 W. Felix St.
Fort Worth, TX 76115
Crime Stoppers | Serving Tarrant County, Texas — Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County is one of more than 1,200 programs in the United States and several other countries that utilizes information from anonymous tipsters to arrest felony offenders. Since 1982, Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County has paid more than $1.6 million in rewards and recovered nearly $30 million in property and narcotics in addition to leading to the arrests of 7,200 offenders and clearing of over 12,200 cases. On this website, you can learn how to submit tips, view unsolved crimes, and find answers to frequently asked questions.
Texas Penal Code | Title 7, Chapter 28 — View the full text of this chapter of the Texas Penal Code discussing numerous property crimes. Read more about definitions of these offenses as well as the accompanying penalties. You can also learn how the amount of pecuniary loss is calculated in these cases.
Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Property Crimes Defense Lawyer
Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation for any kind of alleged property offense in North Central Texas? Do not say anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC for help protecting your rights.
Townsend, Gebhardt, and Eppes, PLLC are criminal defense attorneys in Fort Worth who represent clients in communities throughout Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County, including Arlington, Cleburne, Weatherford, Fort Worth, and several others. Call 817-502-3600 or submit an online form to receive a free initial consultation that will allow our lawyers to provide a complete evaluation of your case.