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Theft Crimes FAQ

Theft is a serious crime that comes with many consequences. The type of theft, value of the stolen property and way in which the property was stolen can determine the penalty you may face. The criminal justice process against theft charges is complex and confusing. Our attorneys have 60 years of combined experience in the criminal justice system and will happily answer your questions and attempt to ease your concerns.

Texas classifies theft penalties as misdemeanors and felonies, both of which carry different prison sentences and fines. It may be complicated when trying to understand what your charges mean and how you can best resolve them. Luckily, our knowledgeable team at Zendeh Del & Associates, PLLC can answer any questions about your theft crime, starting with the below.

How does Texas define theft?

Theft is defined as unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property.

This a single offense superseding the separate offenses previously known as theft, theft by false pretext, conversion by a bailee, theft from the person, shoplifting, acquisition of property by threat, swindling, swindling by worthless check, embezzlement, extortion, receiving or concealing embezzled property, and receiving or concealing stolen property.

It is also illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute shielding or deactivating instruments used for shoplifting.

How do I get my theft charges dropped?

The best possibility for dismissing or reducing your theft charges is by retaining our theft crimes lawyer immediately. Once you’ve been charged for committing theft, the law moves very quickly to establish a strong argument in favor of your conviction. The sooner you contact us, the better chance your case has at succeeding. Our team will do everything in our power to uphold your best interests.

Will I be charged with a misdemeanor or felony for a theft crime?

Texas penalizes offenses according to the value and type of property stolen.

  • Class C Misdemeanor: The value of the property or services stolen is less than $50. You may be fined up to $500 and receive no jail time.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Thevalue of the property or services stolen is $50 to $500, or the property stolen is a driver's license or other identification card. You may be fined up to $2,000 and face up to 180 days in jail.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Thevalue of the property or services stolen is $500 to $1,500. You may be fined up to $4,000 and serve up to 1 year in jail.
  • State Jail Felony: Thevalue of the property or services stolen is $1,500 to $20,000, or the property is of a specific type, such as a firearm or certain livestock valued at less than $20,000. You may be fined up to $10,000 and face incarceration for 180 days to 2 years.
  • 3rd Degree Felony: The value of the property or services stolen is $20,000 to $100,000, or the property is of a specific type, such as certain livestock valued at less than $100,000. You may be fined up to $10,000 and face 2 to 10 years of imprisonment.
  • 2nd Degree Felony: The value of the property or services stolen is $100,000 to $200,000. You may be fined up to $10,000 and face prison for 2 to 20 years.
  • 1st Degree Felony: The value of the property or services stolen is $200,000 or more. You may be fined up to $10,000 and serve 5 to 99 years in prison.

What if I didn’t intend to commit theft?

There are instances in which our clients will explain that they had no idea they were committing theft, or unknowing accompanied a person who committed theft and are now facing legal repercussions for it. This may sound far-fetched, but it is actually possible. You may have bought stolen property from someone without realizing the property was stolen. Another example might be if you were at the mall with a friend and they shoplifted without you being aware of it. Simply being with that shoplifter could result in your theft charge, even though you didn’t do it.

Regardless, it’s essential to understand that you have a higher chance of facing a misdemeanor or felony charge without hiring our qualified theft attorney to build a strategic case on your behalf. Our team will work diligently to prove that you had no knowledge or intent of committing theft, and we are dedicated to utilizing additional defense tactics that may bring your case a positive result.

What types of theft could I be charged for?

Under Texas law, theft includes:

  • Shoplifting
  • Retail theft
  • Auto theft
  • Property theft
  • Stolen goods
  • Grand theft auto
  • Credit card theft
  • Burglary
  • Check forgery
  • Identity theft
  • White-collar crimes

Each theft crime is punished according to the value and type of property stolen. Varying levels of fines and imprisonment accompany each theft crime, typically.

Can I get my theft crime expunged from my record?

In most cases, yes. However, you should contact our theft crimes lawyer to ensure you meet each requirement and won’t run into any problems during the process.

Records that are eligible for expunction include, but are not limited to:

  • An arrest for a crime that was never charged
  • A criminal charge that was ultimately dismissed
  • Certain qualifying misdemeanor juvenile offenses
  • Conviction for a crime that was later acquitted by the trial court or the Criminal Court of Appeals
  • Conviction for a crime that was later pardoned by the Governor of Texas or the US President

What happens if I have a prior conviction for a theft crime and get charged for theft afterwards?

If you have one prior theft crime conviction for any degree of theft that involved property valued at less than $50, you may face a Class B misdemeanor rather than a Class C misdemeanor.

If you have two or more prior theft convictions for any degree of theft that involved property valued at less than $1,500, you may face a state jail felony rather than a Class B or Class A misdemeanor.

If you need thorough legal counsel for your theft crime accusation, contact our dedicated defense lawyers at Zendeh Del & Associates, PLLC online or call (409) 204-5566! We are ready to represent you.

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