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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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If you write 1,200.00 in checks to yourself and steal about

Customer Question

If you write 1,200.00 in checks to yourself and steal about a thousand dollars in cash from a relative that you were living with, but that relative does not wish to press charges and it has been almost 2 years since the incident and you have paid back 700.00 of that money, what is the maximum punishment if they do press charges. Also you were 17 at the time and you have moved to college since then and to a different state for about a year and a half.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 2 years ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

When the amount stolen is more than $950 (regardless whether any amount or the whole amount is paid back), the crime would be charged as "grand theft". Grand theft is a "wobbler", meaning that it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. Now the misdemeanor is not an option now, as the statute of limitations to charge for a misdemeanor is 1 year. But the statute of limitations to charge for a felony in this instance is 4 years from the date of the crime.

ScottyMacEsq :

If you are convicted of grand theft as a felony, you face 16 months, or two or three years in a state prison. The enhancements over 16 months apply in certain instances, and in yours it would most likely be 16 months, assuming you would be charged as an adult and for the felony.

Customer :

Is it 4 years regardless if you are outside of the state that the crime happened in?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes. The state would have to charge you with the crime within 4 years, regardless of whether or not you're present in the state. You don't have to be in custody or even know about the indictment. But the indictment does have to be handed down within 4 years from the grand jury.

Customer :

So after 4 years then nothing can happen?

ScottyMacEsq :

Pretty much. The 4 years runs from the date of the incident or the discovery by the victim, whichever is later. So if you took the money on day 1, and the victim didn't learn about it for a year, it would run from when the victim learned about it, not when the money was taken. But it would be 4 years from that point. That's really the only caveat there.

Customer :

And how do you prove when the victim found out about the incident?

ScottyMacEsq :

No set way. That could actually be an issue at trial, because if the victim knew on day 1, but says he only found out on day 365, and you were charged 4 and a half years after the fact, then a preliminary finding of fact was when the victim knew about it. And this is a question of fact for the jury. So evidence would have to be brought in, testimony, etc... as to when the victim knew. If the jury would come back and say it was on day 1, the case would be dismissed then and there, regardless of whether or not the jury believed that the crime was committed. But in actuality, that's rarely an issue.

Customer :

Say the cops came to the house on the night the victim found out about the incident because of a noise complaint from a neighbor and they were told of the situation from the victim and the accused and they were there and stayed to really just scare the accused into not doing this again by the victims, and the victims didn't file a case with them because they had no intention of pressing charges, would the police still record that information from that night? So that there would be proof that the victim found out that night from it?

ScottyMacEsq :

Hard to say. It depends on the police department, their record taking and retention policies (some will not keep a record if a report is not filed / required). But it's certainly possible that they would have a record of it.

Customer :

okay, but if family members that were notified of the incident from the victim and accused and can protest for when the victim truly found out, then would that count as proof?

ScottyMacEsq :

Not proof, per se, but "evidence". It can be very probative evidence that tends to prove a proposition, but ultimately it would be up to the jury to determine whether they accept that evidence as proof.

Customer :

Also, if you were 17, a minor at the time of the crime, would you be tried as an adult still? also, there was an additional 400 on a credit card and stuff in the house used without permission, would they be counted all as separate or together as money?

ScottyMacEsq :

Wow, this is a lot more questions than I thought it would be.... Yes, you could still be tried as an adult if you had an adult mindset at the time of the crime. That's an entirely different factual and procedural issue, and is generally a preliminary issue at court. As to the other items, that could be considered together if it was effectively all one crime. If it was done on the same day, etc... then it would probably be counted together. If on different days, or facts would indicate that they were truly separate instances, that would be a different crime. But $400 in a different crime would be under the $950, which would be a misdemeanor, and therefore outside of the statute of limitations.

Customer :

They were all in a 3 month period and were done within the same time frame and all found out within three days of each other by the victim.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, hard to say. Either it's together, and it would be considered one crime, or separate, and couldn't be prosecuted. Either way it doesn't change the outcome.

Customer :

okay thank you

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Bonuses are also appreciated if you feel that I have gone above and beyond the original question asked. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you click "accept"?

ScottyMacEsq :

If there is something else that I can help you with, please let me know. Please note that I do not get any credit for the time and effort I spent on this (or any question) unless and until you select "accept". Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or can I assist other customers that are waiting?

Customer :

you can assist others

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you click "accept"?


Customer :

no

ScottyMacEsq :

In that instance, if you're satisfied with this answer, please click "accept" so I can get credit for the time (almost an hour) that I spent on it.

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Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney