A theft crime is a serious offense here in Texas with severe consequences.
If convicted you could face large fines and spend a long time in prison.
If you’ve been arrested on theft charges you can depend on the lawyers of Blizzard and Zimmerman to vigorously defend you against the charges.
The penalty for theft has a range of options depending on the severity of the crime, the value of the goods stolen, and whether the person arrested is a first-time offender.
They are typically divided into seven categories, based on the severity.
The charge could be a misdemeanor or felony.
Theft charges are not just limited to the amount of goods or services stolen.
A person who engages in the act of theft could be liable in civil court to the victim.
The victim could file a lawsuit to recover damages caused by theft, along with costs and legal fees incurred.
The Texas Penal Code defines theft as:
- Appropriation of property that is unlawful if:
- it is without the owner’s effective consent;
- the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
- property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
The penalties for theft vary on the value of the property stolen.
- If the property is valued at less than $100, it is a class c misdemeanor resulting in up to a $500 fine.
- If the property is valued between $100 – $750, you were previously convicted of theft, or was a driver’s license/personal identification certificate, it is a class b misdemeanor which can result in 180 days in jail, and a $2,000 fine.
- If the property is valued between $750 – $2,500, it is a class a misdemeanor which can result in 1 year in jail, and a $4,000 fine,
- If the property is valued between $2,500 – $30,000, the property was from a corpse or grave, is a firearm, or are ballots for an election, it is a state jail felony which can result in 180 days – 2 years in jail, and a $10,000 fine.
- If the property is valued between $30,000 – $150,000, it is a third-degree felony which can result in 2-10 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.
- If the property is valued between $150,000 – $300,000, it is a second-degree felony which can result in 2-20 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.
- If the property is valued at over $300,000, it is a first-degree felony which can result in 5-99 years/life in prison, and a $10,000 fine.
According to a recent Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Report, larceny-theft is on the rise in the state. In 2019 there were 496,279 larceny-thefts, making this the largest crime category of crime index. This crime classification does not include embezzlement, ‘con’ games, forgery, and the passing of worthless checks.
Meanwhile, auto theft is a crime that is also increasing in the state.
In 2019, Texas law enforcement agencies arrested 5,755 persons for motor vehicle theft. When compared with 2018, the number of motor vehicle theft arrests increased 6.3%.
The number of arrests for motor vehicle theft in the state climbed to 6,681 in 2021, up from 5,637 the previous year, this is a change of 18.52%
Clients can be confident in the abilities of lawyers Jacob Blizzard, Matt Zimmerman, Sarah Durham and Morgan Walker to vigorously defend them with personal attention against theft charges.
Call today for a one-on-one consultation with a lawyer to find out how we can put our legal skills and experience to work for you.