Humble, TX asked in Criminal Law and Animal / Dog Law for Texas

Q: Am I going to jail I went and got my dog up from my aunt's and now she is saying I stole her dog and is pressing charges

I allowed my dog to stay in my aunt's care while I was working in multiple different towns for a year. We never discussed or signed anything. When I was able I went and picked her up from my aunt while she was home she is now saying I stole her and she filed a police report and is pressing charges. I have my dogs adoption papers and microchip information this is my dog. I did not abandon her I stored her safely until my return? I don't understand how I could be prosecuted but my grandma says I will be can somebody please give me some lawful insight?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kiele Linroth Pace
Kiele Linroth Pace
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: You will be arrested and taken to jail if a law enforcement officer believes you committed a crime. In some situations, the officer must first get an arrest warrant by convincing a judge that there is "probable cause" to believe you committed a crime, but any officer worth his salt shouldn't have much trouble doing that.

That said, you can only be convicted if you enter a guilty or no contest plea, or if the prosecutor can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed every element of an offense. Many people take a plea and are convicted on cases they could win at trial because they are afraid to lose and jump at the opportunity to settle for a probation deal. They will tell you that deferred adjudication probation is not a real conviction but, for most purposes, it might as well be.

If the cops decide to go forward with a case against you, hire the best available criminal defense attorney in your community to fight the charge. Do not speak to investigating officers. They are allowed to lie to you about their intentions, and they often will. They are perfectly capable of closing their investigation without talking to you. If they reach out, know that they are only interested in talking to you because they already believe you are guilty.

Good luck.

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