THEFT CHARGES IN TEXAS
The Texas penal code defines theft as the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession. There are a variety of different convictions and charges depending on the type of theft committed.
Type Of Theft
Auto Theft – The unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, without the owner’s consent.
Bouncing Checks – Intentionally using bad checks to pay for items.
Burglary – Theft combined with the unlawful entry of a habitation, building, or vehicle.
Embezzlement – The covert theft of an employer’s money or property by an employee who has been trusted to manage or monitor the money or property.
General Theft – Taking another person’s property without their permission.
Identity Theft – Wrongfully obtaining another person’s personal data, with the intention of using it to your gain.
Receiving Stolen Property – Buying or accepting items which you know to be stolen.
Robbery – Theft combined with bodily injury inflicted upon the victim.
Shoplifting – Deliberately taking items out of a store, with the intention of not paying for them.
MISDEMEANOR VS. FELONY THEFT
The punishment for a theft crime varies, but usually depends of the value of the property stolen. Even the theft of seemingly inexpensive items can lead to large fines and/or jail time, but the greatest penalty of a theft is getting a theft charge on your permanent record.
The following chart breaks down what might be classified as a misdemeanor vs. what might be classified as a felony.
Value Of Goods Stolen
Degree Of Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor
Up to a $500 fine
Class B Misdemeanor
Up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2000
State Jail Felony
180 days-2 years and a fine of up to $10,000
3rd Degree Felony
2-10 years and a fine up to $10,000
2nd Degree Felony
2-20 years and a fine up to $10,000
1st Degree Felony
$300,000 or more
5 to 99 years and a fine up to $10,000
Note: If controlled substances valued at less than $150,000 are stolen from a building or vehicle where controlled substances are commonly stored or transported, the punishment is increased to a third degree felony.
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GRAND THEFT VS. PETTY THEFT
In some states, felony theft is designated as grand theft and misdemeanor theft is designated as petty theft. Texas does not make this distinction and labels all such crimes as just theft.
HIRE AN EXPERIENCED THEFT LAWYER
A quality lawyer works to have charges reduced or dismissed. There are many options available to you besides a long jail term. If you have been accused of petty theft or grand theft in the Fort Worth area, call the Sparks Law Firm at (817) 334-0300 for a free consultation.