A Texas criminal defense lawyer explains the available legal options.
Being charged with theft in Texas is a serious criminal charge with serious consequences. That’s why it’s important for someone facing a theft charge to fully understand their rights, the penalties, the consequences of a theft conviction, and the potential legal options available to them.
Below, you can learn more about how the criminal justice system works in Texas in such cases. And if you have been charged with theft and need immediate legal assistance, contact our law firm right now for a free consultation. Our Conroe-based law firm serves all of Montgomery County, Texas, and the surrounding area.
How does Texas define theft?
The State of Texas defines theft as taking anything of monetary value (including property or services) without the rightful owner’s consent. The rules and regulations involving theft in Texas can be found in the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 31.
In the eyes of the law, theft is quite different from other similar property crimes, such as robbery or burglary. Robbery involves the theft of someone else’s property through the use of force or threatening to use force. Burglary involves entering someone else’s property to commit a theft, regardless of whether someone actually commits a theft.
Our Texas criminal defense law firm represents individuals charged with all three types of theft-related charges – theft, burglary, and robbery.
Penalties for a theft conviction in Texas
The penalties for a theft conviction in Texas often depend on two factors – the value of the items someone is accused of stealing and whether the individual has been previously convicted of theft in Texas. Theft penalties as outlined in Title 3, Chapter 12, Subchapter A of the Texas Penal Code include:
Class C Misdemeanor Theft
Theft of property or services worth less than $100.
Penalty – up to $500 fine, no jail time.
Class B Misdemeanor Theft
Theft of property or services worth $100 to $750 or the theft of a driver’s license.
Penalty – up to $2,000 fine and/or up to 180 days in jail.
Class A Misdemeanor Theft
Theft of property or services worth $750 to $2,500.
Penalty – up to $4,000 fine and/or up to one year in jail.
State Jail Felony Theft
Theft of property or services worth $2,500 to $30,000 or theft of a firearm.
Penalty – up to $10,000 fine and 180 days to 2 years in state jail.
Third-Degree Felony Theft
Theft of property worth $30,000 to $150,000.
Penalty – up to $10,000 fine and 2 to 10 years in prison.
Second-Degree Felony Theft
Theft of property worth $150,000 to $300,000.
Penalty – up to $10,000 fine and 2 to 20 years in prison.
First-Degree Felony Theft
Theft of property worth $300,000 or more.
Penalty – up to $10,000 fine and 5 to 99 years in prison.
Long-term consequences for a theft conviction
If you are convicted of theft in Texas, the legal consequences can extend beyond fines and jail time. Your future rights and opportunities could be impacted by such a conviction. In particular, you could have a hard time in the future getting certain jobs if you have a criminal conviction for theft. Many employers take such charges very seriously and will not hire individuals who have been charged and convicted of theft.
Beyond career opportunities, getting an apartment, a bank loan for a car or house, and sometimes even your right to vote in certain cases (Texas has complicated felony conviction voting laws) could be affected if you are convicted of theft in Texas. This is why people facing theft charges in Texas must act fast to protect their rights and learn more about their potential legal options.
Alternative available legal options
Many times, there are different options available to people charged with theft in Texas. The best case scenario is having such charges dropped or dismissed. This is why anyone facing a theft charge in Texas should contact our criminal defense law firm immediately to learn more about whether this could be an option in your case.
Another alternative to significant fines or prison time may be probation. There are several types of probation, including deferred adjudication and straight probation. There are big differences between these two types of probation. Most notably, individuals who receive deferred adjudication probation may be able to have their theft charge sealed or non-disclosed from their criminal record.
As a result, employers or bank loan officers would not be able to see any record of any theft, arrest, or conviction. Of course, the best way to learn more about your specific legal situation is to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your potential legal options.
How a Texas criminal defense attorney can help
The stakes are high if you have been charged with theft in Texas. Make sure you fully understand your rights and the legal options available to you. Contact The Webb Firm, P.C. right now and schedule a free consultation. We’re located in Conroe, Texas, and serve all of Montgomery County and the surrounding area.