The Deputy Darren Almendarez Act: What You Need To Know

Lawmakers in Texas have recently enacted stricter laws dealing with catalytic converter thefts. In 2021, legislation was passed to criminalize the theft, purchase, or sale of stolen catalytic converters. Now, with the enactment of the Deputy Darren Almendarez Act, the penalties for these offenses have been significantly increased. 

Under this new legislation, it is not only illegal to steal, buy, or sell stolen catalytic converters but also to possess a converter that has been unlawfully removed from a vehicle. Unauthorized possession of a catalytic converter is now classified as a state jail felony in Texas, carrying penalties of six months to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum fine of $10,000.

The severity of the offense can be heightened under certain circumstances. If the defendant has a prior conviction for the same offense, was engaged in organized crime activities, or possessed a firearm during the commission of the offense, the charge can be elevated to a third-degree felony, resulting in even harsher penalties.

Your Right to a Strong Defense

These new laws reflect the state’s commitment to combating catalytic converter thefts, but they also mean that individuals accused of such offenses face severe consequences. At our firm, we recognize that these charges can be complex and nuanced. Possession of a catalytic converter, for example, might not always indicate criminal intent. There are numerous legitimate reasons someone might have a catalytic converter in their possession, and distinguishing these cases from actual theft is crucial.

Contact Us for Expert Legal Assistance

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to catalytic converter theft or possession, it’s crucial to contact us as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys are committed to providing aggressive and strategic representation to ensure your rights are protected. Don’t face these serious charges alone—reach out to us today for the expert defense you deserve.

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