Theft Defense in Texas
Charged with a theft crime in the Houston area?
Theft is a general legal term that is used as an over-arching description that includes crimes in which one person intentionally and/or fraudulently appropriates personal property of another person without express consent – of course the intent to retain the property for other uses is a big part of this crime. Many people commonly put theft, robbery, shoplifting, and
burglary all in the same category. While robbery and burglary are crimes involving removing property, they have special definitions that apply specifically to actions that the alleged perpetrator took during the commission of the crime.
Theft crimes in Texas include the following:
- Identity theft
- Fraud and forgery
- Employee theft
- Joyriding (unlawful/unauthorized use of a motor vehicle)
- Theft by check
- Welfare fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Possession of stolen property
What are the penalties?
The punishments you might incur if you are convicted of a theft crime are different depending upon several factors. The value of the stolen property is the main yardstick by which a court of law will judge a theft crime.
Based on value alone, some of the penalties you could face include the following:
- Worth less than $50, you could be facing a class C misdemeanor
- Worth between $50-$500, you could be facing a class B misdemeanor
- Worth between $500-$1500, you could be facing a class A misdemeanor
- Worth between $1,500-$20,000, you could be facing a state jail felony
- Worth between $20,000-$100,000, you could be facing a third degree felony
- Worth between $100,000-$200,000, you could be facing a second degree felony
- Worth $200,000 or more, you could be facing a first degree felony.
Of course there are other factors that go into deciding which penalty you might be looking at if you are convicted. For example, theft crimes committed as a public servant or contracted government employee are often dealt with as much more severe crimes than if the individual were not employed by the state or federal government.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime on the above list or if you are facing any other type of theft crime, you need to protect yourself. Prosecutors and law enforcement agents will work to make sure that you face consequences if you are believed to have committed any type of thievery. Even if this is a one-time offense, you could still face harsh penalties if you are convicted of a theft crime. With the help of Attorney Martinez you can rest assured that your rights will be protected throughout your case.