Property crimes are taken seriously, and we take them serious as well. Property crimes involve a wide range of criminal conduct, such as theft, burglary, robbery, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and arson.
If you are charged with a property offense, be sure to hire an attorney who will fight for you and ensure the best result.
If you take or acquire someone else’s property without his knowledge or consent with the intent to keep it or sell it, you are stealing. But, there is no crime of “stealing” in Texas. Rather, there are an array of criminal offenses that fall under the umbrella of theft. What you stole, how much it was worth, and how and from whom you stole it will all play roles in how severe the penalties will be if you are convicted. But, make no mistake, even minor theft offenses can come with major consequences beyond hefty fines or time behind bars. Long after you have paid your dues, a theft conviction can leave a stain on your reputation and limit your opportunities for years to come. Often, employers will not hire a person who has a theft offense on his record.
Prosecutors don’t take theft offenses lightly, and neither does the Law Office of Case J. Darwin. We offer experienced and vigorous defense representation against all Hays, Guadalupe, and Comal County theft crime charges. If prosecutors have you in their sights for theft, you need to understand what’s at stake before making any decisions about how to proceed. Making a plea or accepting a deal with prosecutors may seem like the “easy way out,” but you may have defenses that could spare you the long-term fallout of a conviction for theft. Don’t face theft charges alone.
Types of Theft Offenses
There are many separate offenses that constitute theft in Texas. They are primarily defined by the manner in which stolen property was acquired. Theft offenses in Texas include the following:
- Theft. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.03 (West 2018),
- Theft of Service. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.03 (West 2018),
- Shoplifting. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.03 (West 2018),
- Theft of a Firearm. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.03(e)(4) (West 2018). Theft of a firearm is a state-jail felony,
- Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (“UUMV”). See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.07 (West 2018). A person commits the offense of UUMV when he intentionally or knowingly operates a person’s vehicle without the effective consent of the owner. UUMV is a state-jail felony,
- Robbery. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 29.02 (West 2018),
- Aggravated Robbery. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 29.03 (West 2018),
- Burglary. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 30.02 (West 2018),
- Credit Card or Debit Card Abuse. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 32.31 (West 2018),
- Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 32.51 (West 2018),
- Forgery. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 32.21 (West 2018), and
- Fraud. See Tex. Pen. Code Ann. chapter 32 (West 2018).
Penalties for Theft Offenses
While other factors and circumstances may contribute to the penalties you face upon conviction for a theft crime, the value of the stolen property is the primary determinant as to how a guilty verdict or plea will impact your future. Under the Texas Penal Code, theft crimes and their penalties are generally classified as follows:
- Property worth less than $100: a Class C Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500,
- Property worth between $100-$750: a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $2,000,
- Property worth between $750-$2,500: a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail and a fine of up to $4,000,
- Property worth between $2,500-$30,000: a state-jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,
- Property worth between $30,000-$150,000: a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000,
- Property worth between $150,000-$300,000: a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, and
- Property worth $300,000 or more: a first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Speak with a Texas Theft Defense Lawyer Today
While property offenses may be common offenses, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a serious one. Don’t take chances with your future if you find yourself facing charges for a Hays, Guadalupe, or Comal County theft crime. Whether you are in need of a shoplifting lawyer or a burglary lawyer we are here to help. Call the Law Office of Case J. Darwin today to arrange for your free initial consultation to discuss your situation. We will treat you with respect, listen to your story, and formulate a strategy to achieve the best possible outcome.
Call us today at (512) 738-6146 or contact us online to arrange for your free initial consultation.