Most people are aware that theft is a serious crime, both federally and on a state level. However, in the state of Texas, theft is a felony charge which can result in life in prison, depending on the circumstances. Knowing the theft penalties and being aware of what other crimes theft is comparable to in Texas can keep criminals from attempting such acts.
Theft penalties go up in severity depending on the property value of what’s stolen. For instance, if the stolen property is valued at less than $20, the charge is considered a Class C misdemeanor, which can result in a $500 fine. However, if the stolen property is valued between $1,500 and $5,000, the crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a year of jail time and a $4,000 fine.
Theft penalties become more serious when the property value is increased. A theft charge is considered a third-degree felony when the stolen property is valued at $20,000 to $100,000. This can result in 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A drive-by shooting without bodily injury is also considered a third-degree felony.
Any theft where the property value is $200,000 or more is considered a first-degree felony. For this degree of felony, the assailant can receive between 5-99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. First-degree felonies are also used for aggravated sexual assault offenders. As you can see, the state of Texas considers thieves to be serious criminals.
What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with Theft
If you’ve been charged with theft, you’ll need to get in touch with an attorney in your area. If you live in a big city such as Dallas, a Dallas criminal defense lawyer will ensure you’re supported throughout the legal process. While there’s no guarantee that your charges will get reduced, your legal team will do everything in their power to make sure you get the most lenient punishment.
There are a variety of strategies that lawyers use to ensure you’re supported throughout your case. Your attorney will investigate the crime in question and gather all of the evidence to make sure the police did their job correctly. If there was even the slightest slip-up in police policy or procedure, it can be used against them.
Without a criminal defense team behind you, the charges against you will undoubtedly stand. Depending on what the court decides, you can go to jail for years on end and end up paying thousands in fines and court costs. With Texas theft laws being so harsh, having an experienced defense attorney in your corner will be essential.
No Letting Up
There’s no chance that Texas will be letting up on their theft laws anytime soon, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Theft is a serious crime and should be penalized that way. Hopefully, if strict laws are made more obvious, thieves will be less likely to commit crimes.