Being convicted of theft can have many harsh and long lasting consequences including fines, jail time, and the potential loss of employment or rental housing. Under Texas law, many crimes are legally considered theft including all cases of fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, or the robbery of property and services. For those recently charged with theft, here’s an overview of the most common theft charges and their associated penalties. Included is also an explanation of why you should hire an attorney criminal theft attorney in areas like San Marcos Texas, where the theft conviction rate is well above the national average.
Common Theft Violations:
While many crimes fall under the umbrella of “theft”, some theft charges are more common than others. The most common theft charges in Texas include:
Shoplifting: By far the most common form of theft, shoplifting involves deliberately taking an item from a store with the intent to not pay. While many people have unintentionally forgotten to pay for an item in their shopping cart, to be charged with shoplifting there must be evidence of criminal intent such as security footage or eyewitness accounts.
Property Theft: Property theft, such as stealing somebody’s money or phone is another common type of theft that can carry severe consequences depending on the cost of what was stolen. In San Marcos, stealing catalytic converters is an incredibly common and serious form of property theft which is considered a felony that carries a jail sentence.
Robbery: Robbery is similar to property theft but involves the use of threats, intimidation, or violence. In Texas, robbery is classified as a Class C felony with penalties that are more severe than that of property theft including 20 years in prison.
The penalty for theft charges ranges from a Class C misdemeanor to a First-degree felony and largely depends on the value of what was stolen and whether a case is classified as grand larceny or petty theft. While petty theft charges are less serious and involve stolen property valued at $100 to $300, some grand larceny charges can result in up to 99 years in prison. Given the seriousness of a grand larceny conviction, everyone facing these charges in Texas and San Marcos should hire a criminal theft attorney.
Common Theft Penalties:
Most petty and low value theft cases fall under a class A, B, or C Misdemeanor which, while severe, can often be avoided in Texas and San Marcos with the help of a highly rated criminal theft attorney san marcos.
Class C Misdemeanor: Classified as less than $50 stolen, with penalties including a fine of up to $500.
Class B Misdemeanor: Classified as more than $50 stolen but less than $500 stolen, with penalties including up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000.
Class A Misdemeanor: Classified as more than $500 stolen but less than $1500 stolen, with penalties including up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4000.
If your theft charge classifies as grand larceny or includes violence, this falls under a felony that carries harsh consequences.
State Felony: A Texas State felony is classified as more than $1500 stolen but less than $20,000 stolen, with penalties including 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Third Degree Felony: Classified as more than $20,000 stolen but less than $100,000 stolen, with penalties including 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Second Degree Felony: Classified as more than $100,000 stolen but less than $200,000 stolen, with penalties including 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
First Degree Felony: Classified as $200,000 stolen or more, with penalties including 5 to 99 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000
Why to Hire a Criminal Theft Attorney in San Marcos Texas:
In areas like San Marcos where the rate of theft convictions is well above the national average, it is crucial to hire a criminal theft attorney to lessen any criminal penalties and ensure that your record is not impacted by your charges. Additionally, individuals found liable for theft in the state of Texas are subject to the Texas Theft Liability Act which allows victims to sue for restitution in civil court separately from any criminal proceedings and associated fines. As such, theft charges come with extensive consequences that should convince anyone facing charges to hire a criminal theft attorney, especially those in San Marcos Texas, and areas with high theft conviction rates.