Theft, Shoplifting, And Penalties For Stealing In Texas
If you take property from someone else, you could be charged for the act of theft. In the state of Texas, you are committing theft when you unlawfully appropriate property. The consequences you will be facing for a Texas theft charge will be directly related to the value of the property stolen.
In some states, theft is broken down into petty theft charges, connected to smaller valuation amounts, and grand theft offenses, when the value of goods is larger. In Texas, the offenses are separated into misdemeanor and felonies. There are distinctions within each of those groupings as well.
Different Types of Theft
While the definition of theft is clear, you are taking property that doesn’t belong to you for your own use, there are many different types of stealing. For instance, stealing from a business could happen in the form of embezzlement or shoplifting.
An embezzler is someone who misappropriated funds that belonged to their employer. Proof of embezzlement is often found in financial records. But if a potential customer lifts retail products from a business, that is a form of shoplifting. To prove a shoplifting charge, the business will likely point to evidence of the individual removing a price tag, altering the packaging, or concealing the products from view.
Penalties for Stolen Goods
Whether you will be facing misdemeanor or felony charges will depend on the worth of the services or property stolen. Restitution payments may also be awarded by a Texas judge, depending on the situation.
- Misdemeanor, class C. when the value of the property stolen is under $100, it is categorized as a class C misdemeanor. A fine is possible, but jail time will not be one of the consequences.
- Misdemeanor, class B. Worth of goods is more than $100 but does not exceed $750, it is a repeat theft offense, or the item stolen was an official ID. Penalties could include fines of up to two thousand dollars and loss of freedom for up to 180 days.
- Misdemeanor, class A. Property stolen is worth over $750 but no more than $2500. Higher fines and jail time is possible.
When the value of the property or services is higher than $2500, it will be classified as a felony. Penalties become increasingly severe for felony offenders and repeat offenders. Additionally, harsher consequences are possible when property was stolen from a public servant, government official, senior citizen, or nonprofit organization.
Connect with a Texas Defense Lawyer
Not every theft crime is the same. There are many details to consider before a strong defense can be strategized. Talk to a Houston criminal lawyer to learn more.
Do you believe you will soon be charged with theft? Then you need a skilled lawyer with extensive experience in the Texas judicial system on your side. It is possible your freedom is on the line. Talk to the legal team at Ayson Law Firm. Our attorneys are compassionate as they listen to your situation and are aggressive when it comes to defending your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.