Austin Attorneys for Theft Charges
Looking for Austin theft attorneys to represent you on theft charges? Anyone who has been charged with committing an offense that involves theft will find themselves in a difficult situation, and it’s all because of how experienced prosecutors are in the state of Texas when it comes to these types of offenses. Thankfully, hiring an experienced defense attorney that specializes in theft offenses can help to ensure that you build the best defense in your case.
The Texas Penal Code distinctly defines theft as “unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of property.” Despite this, there is quite a bit in regards to what is considered theft, as there are 15 different sections of the penal code that details what manner and how many ways someone can be charged with theft.
Some of the most common types of theft in Texas include the following:
- Shoplifting, which includes either deliberately stealing items from a store or choosing to not pay the full amount for the items in question.
- Passing bad checks, which involves paying for something using either an account that contains insufficient funds to cover the cost of the item or an account that has been closed.
- Accepting or purchasing stolen property, which involves taking possession of one or more items from someone who does not actually own them.
The penalties for theft crimes in Texas vary depending on the worth of the item or items that were stolen. The penalties are as follows:
- Items less than $100: Class C misdemeanor (fine not to exceed $500)
- Items $100 or more, but less than $750: Class B misdemeanor (confinement no more than 180 days in county jail and/or fine not to exceed $2,000)
- Items $750 or more, but less than $2,500: Class A misdemeanor (confinement no more than one year in county jail and/or fine of no more than $4,000)
- items $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000: State jail felony (two to ten years in state prison, and/or fine not to exceed $10,000)
- Items $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000: Third-degree felony (180 days to two years in state jail, and/or fine not to exceed $10,000)
- Items $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000: Second-degree felony (two to 20 years in state prison, fine not to exceed $10,000
- Items $300,000 or more: First-degree felony, five to 99 years in state prison, fine of no more than $10,000
Each of these offenses may be enhanced for a variety of reasons, such as if you have a previous conviction, charged with the theft of a firearm, involved in an organized theft ring, etc. A conviction or plea agreement will require that you pay restitution to the alleged victim. Additionally, the alleged victim may file a civil suit against you.
Being charged with a crime involving theft doesn’t actually mean that you’re guilty of having committed the offense. This is why hiring an experienced theft attorney is perhaps the best way to build up a strong enough defense to clear your name and get your life back on track.