Is there anything out there saying you cannot enhance a theft conviciton with prior theft by check convictions? My PD thinks they cannot but I would argue differently. Theft by Check is merely a presumption of intent making it a theft conviction enhanceable under 31.03.
Theft By Check is not technically a separate crime, it is just a category of Theft cases, and convictions can be used to enhance a later theft case.
I seem to remember reading that the statute talkedof "any grade of theft" for priors. I'd try it, as long as I could actualy prove the prior class C conviction. (This is difficult to do for us, because there are no prints associated w/ the class C convictions.)
I was assuming that your prior theft by check convictions are not Class C cases, since those would only involve checks under $20, which we normally see filed as Issuance of Bad Check (which is a Class C). IBC is not a theft offense, and cannot be used to enhance a later theft.
The problem we occasionally see is when we have a good IBC case for a large amount, say a $20,000 check. This is still a Class C, and we may have no provable theft case, but our JP courts refuse to accept the filing of the charges because they think it's "out of their jurisdictional limits" despite our pointing them to the statutes. (What they really don't want to do is accept responsibility for collecting restitution on a check that large when they can't enforce it with jail time). We are put in the position of telling victims of these kinds of cases that there is little we can do.
When we have one big check and no others, we sometimes solve the problem by scheduling the matter for grand jury (assuming the check is big enough) and that somehow shakes the tree & gets the matter resolved, unless,of course, the grand jury thinks the debt is purely civil & they dump it.
If I have several checks, we aggregate them & file the appropriate felony, or B/A misdemeanor.
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