College Station Theft Crime Lawyer
Former Prosecutor Serving Clients in College Station, TX
Getting accused of theft can be devastating. Not only are your freedom and future at stake but also your reputation. The last thing you need is for your friends, colleagues, and loved ones to scrutinize you based on an accusation, as you are innocent until proven guilty. Allow our College Station theft crime attorney to help maintain your innocence.
Did you know that 718,844 Texas property crimes were committed in 2018 according to the Texas Department of Public Safety? With the offense being so widespread, it comes as no surprise that law enforcement is always on the lookout for theft suspects. You could have been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, made a mistake, or wrongly accused, and no matter the circumstances that lead to your theft crime charges, The Greening Law Group is here to help.
To speak with our attorney, schedule a free consultation online or at (979) 596-4088!
Texas Theft Laws
In Texas, a person commits theft if they unlawfully appropriate property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Appropriation of property is unlawful if:
- It is without the owner’s consent
- The property is stolen, and the defendant appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another
- Property in the custody of a law enforcement agency was explicitly represented as being stolen and the defendant appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another
In other words, theft is committed when a person steals another person’s property, whether that property is stolen or belongs to the original owner. That being said, there is a broad range of theft-related crimes involving different types of property valued at different prices. Accordingly, a person can be charged for theft crimes such as:
- Grand theft
- Grand theft auto
- Writing bad checks
What Is the Penalty for Theft in Texas?
The penalties for theft in Texas depend on the value of the allegedly stolen property. Thus, you could face felony or misdemeanor charges as a result. Whether the allegedly stolen property was $500 or $500,000, you could be looking at hefty consequences for theft in Texas. Take a look at the classification of theft crime penalties below:
- Class C misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine if the value of the property stolen is less than $100
Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a $2,000 fine if:
- The value of the property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750
- The value of the property stolen is less than $100 and the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of theft
- The property stolen is a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, or personal identification certificate issued by this state or another state
- Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or $4,000 fines if the value of the property stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500
State jail felony punishable by 180 days to 2 years in prison and/or $10,000 fines if:
- The value of the property stolen is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000
- The property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $30,000
- The property is stolen from the person of another or from a human corpse or grave, including property that is a military grave marker
- The property stolen is a firearm
- The value of the property stolen is less than $2,500 and the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft
- The property stolen is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election; or
- The value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and is aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass
Third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine if the value of the property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or the property is:
- Cattle, horses, or exotic livestock, or exotic fowl stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000
- 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000
- A controlled substance, having a value of less than $150,000
Second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and/or $10,000 fines if:
- The value of the property stolen is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000
- The value of the property stolen is less than $300,000 and it is an automated teller machine or the contents or components of an automated teller machine
- First-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison and/or a $10,000 fine if the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more
Possible Defenses to Theft in Texas
With these penalties in mind, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself from a theft crime conviction. Your attorney will look at your case and determine the best possible defense strategy for your unique situation, which may include one or more of the following defenses to theft:
- Entrapment: A legal defense to theft in Texas, entrapment occurs when a police officer induces a suspect into committing an offense they otherwise wouldn’t have committed without the inducement.
- Duress: If you were threatened, coerced, or otherwise pressured into committing theft, your lawyer may argue that you were under duress during the reported situation and should thus get reduced or dismissed charges.
- Lack of knowledge: You may use this defense if you are accused of knowingly stealing a stolen object. If you purchased an item from a pawn shop for instance and didn’t realize it was stolen, you may avoid a conviction.
- You were borrowing: Let’s say you borrowed your neighbor’s car while yours was in the shop. If you borrow it for longer than the neighbor had anticipated and they file charges against you, your attorney may successfully argue that you were merely borrowing the car and had no intent to steal it.
- You returned the property: Referring to the example above, if you borrowed your neighbor’s car but knowingly and intentionally decided to steal it, you would be accused of theft. However, a judge may reduce your sentence upon conviction if you can prove that you returned the car, although, your charges would remain the same.
Ready to fight your charges? You’ve come to the right place. Our College Station theft crime lawyer is a former prosecutor who knows how both sides of the court system operate, as well as a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist who is among the 10% of lawyers in the state of Texas who are considered experts in their respective fields of law. For these reasons and more, there is no better lawyer to represent your rights and best interests than our very own.
Get in touch with the firm online or at (979) 596-4088 today!