What are the Levels of Theft in Texas?
Theft, as defined by the Texas Penal Code, encompasses a range of actions involving the unauthorized taking or use of another person’s property. It requires three key elements: the unlawful appropriation of property, and the lack of the owner’s consent. And the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently.
Forms of Theft
Theft in Texas encompasses a variety of actions and scenarios. Some common forms of theft include:
- Theft by Taking: This involves physically removing or carrying away someone else’s property without their consent, with the intent to permanently deprive them of it.
- Theft by Deception: This form of theft involves acquiring someone’s property through fraudulent means, deceit, or misrepresentation. Examples include selling counterfeit goods or using false pretenses to gain access to another person’s property.
- Theft of Services: In addition to tangible property, theft in Texas can extend to services. Theft of services occurs when someone obtains services without the intent to pay for them or through fraudulent means.
- Receiving Stolen Property: It is also a crime to knowingly possess or receive stolen property, as it contributes to the perpetuation of theft. Individuals found in possession of stolen goods may face charges, even if they were not directly involved in the act of theft.
Levels of Theft
Misdemeanor theft in Texas is when someone takes something that doesn’t belong to them without permission, and the value of what they took is not very high. It is considered a smaller kind of theft compared to more serious ones. Although it is against the law, the punishments for misdemeanor theft can include things like fines or community service. It’s important to always ask for permission and respect other people’s belongings to avoid getting in trouble with the law.
Felony theft in Texas is a more serious type of theft. It happens when someone takes something that doesn’t belong to them without permission, and the value of what they took is higher than a certain amount. Felony theft can result in harsher punishments compared to misdemeanor theft. These punishments can include things like fines and even going to jail. It’s important to always respect other people’s belongings and not take things that don’t belong to us. Stealing is against the law and can have serious consequences.
Larceny vs. Theft
There is a difference between larceny and theft, although the terms are often used interchangeably in common language. Legally speaking, larceny is a specific type of theft that originated from common law. The exact definitions and distinctions between these terms can vary depending on the jurisdiction, but I’ll provide a general explanation.
Theft is a broader term that encompasses various acts of unlawfully taking someone else’s property without their permission, with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. It is a generic term used to describe the act of stealing, regardless of the specific circumstances or elements involved.
On the other hand, larceny refers to a specific type of theft that typically involves the unlawful taking and carrying away of someone else’s property without their consent. Larceny often emphasizes the physical act of taking and removing the property, and it may require additional elements such as an intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Larceny is generally considered a more traditional or older term in legal contexts.
The penalties for theft in Texas can vary depending on several factors, including the value of the stolen property and any previous criminal history of the offender. Here is a general overview of the potential penalties for theft in Texas:
Misdemeanor Theft Penalties:
- For property valued at less than $100: Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
- For property valued between $100 and $750: Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or confinement in jail for up to 180 days.
- For property valued between $750 and $2,500: Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or confinement in jail for up to one year.
Felony Theft Penalties:
- State Jail Felony: For property valued between $2,500 and $30,000, or certain types of property, a state jail felony may be charged. Punishment can include confinement in a state jail facility for a term ranging from 180 days to two years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third-Degree Felony: For property valued between $30,000 and $150,000, or if the stolen property is a firearm, the offense can be charged as a third-degree felony. Penalties can include imprisonment for two to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-Degree Felony: If the stolen property is valued between $150,000 and $300,000, the offense may be charged as a second-degree felony. The potential penalties include imprisonment for two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- First-Degree Felony: For theft involving property valued at $300,000 or more, the offense can be charged as a first-degree felony. Punishment can range from five years to life imprisonment, along with a fine of up to $10,000.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you are facing theft criminal charges. It is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer can provide you with essential legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the legal process.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney we can review the facts of your criminal case, investigate the charges against you. And develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. As well as negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and advocate for your rights and interests in court.
In addition, we can provide you with information about the potential indecent exposure consequences of a conviction. Including the possibility of jail time, fines, and other penalties. And work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life and future.
Overall, the criminal law justice system can be complex and scary. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can significantly improve the outcome of your case. Our lawyers can help you comprehend the legal process, outline your choices, and provide advice and support. We can also help you review any evidence gathered against you, prepare witness statements, and investigate any mitigating circumstances.