Possession Of Stolen Property Texas – If law enforcement arrests you on theft charges, it’s natural to wonder what possible consequences you could face. Like most states, Texas classifies theft crimes based on the value of the property or services stolen. Here’s what you need to know about the interplay of Texas theft and property value laws to better understand the potential consequences of a theft conviction in Pearland or South Houston.
According to Title 7, Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code, “a person commits a felony if he unlawfully takes property with intent to deprive the owner of the property.” The Act goes on to define the appropriation of property as unlawful when: “(1) it is without the actual consent of the owner; (2) the property is stolen and the player appropriates the property knowing that it was stolen by someone else; or (3) property in the custody of any law enforcement agency has been explicitly presented to the player as stolen by any law enforcement agency and the player appropriates the property in the belief that it has been stolen by someone else.” Common examples of theft offenses include theft in shops, taking stolen property, stealing firearms, etc.
Possession Of Stolen Property Texas
Several factors affect the type of theft offense you may face. Penalties can range from a Class C misdemeanor charge to a first-degree felony charge, depending on the value of the property involved and, in some cases, the nature of the property. The lowest charge for theft is a Class C misdemeanor involving theft of property valued at less than $100. If convicted, you likely won’t face jail time, but you may have to pay up to $500 in fines. As the value of the stolen property increases, the severity of the theft charge increases. For example, stealing property valued at $300,000 or more can lead to first-degree theft charges, which carry a $10,000 fine and five to 99 years in prison.
Dallas Shoplifting Attorney
You may face additional penalties if certain conditions are met. For example, if the stolen property belonged to a public employee, a non-profit organization, a person 65 years of age or older, or under the control of a Medicare provider, the initial felony level will automatically increase by one level (ie, a third-degree felony becomes a second-degree felony degrees). Theft charges can be challenging to navigate, so contact an experienced South Houston criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation and protect your rights and freedom.
If you have been accused of theft in Pearland or South Houston, call Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted criminal defense attorney. Statutes of limitations set a time limit for prosecuting the crime in question. Under these laws, charges must be filed within a certain time frame. If charges are not filed within that time, they cannot be filed at all.
All theft crimes in Texas are subject to a statute of limitations that depends on the circumstances of the crime involved.
Imagine this scenario: you are minding your own business and driving to the store when you notice the police driving behind you and seeming to be following you. Within seconds, the officer turns on his lights and pulls you over. A police officer approaches you, checks your identification and asks you to get out of the vehicle and put your hands behind your back because you are being arrested for theft. You know you didn’t do anything wrong, but apparently there’s a charge that you stole something from someone and now you’re going to jail. You are connecting from jail and waiting for the next step. The problem is that you don’t hear anything for a month, three months, six months – what should you do?
Avoiding Jail Time After Being Charged With Theft In Texas
Below we will look at the statutes of limitations for different types of theft crimes in Texas and the circumstances under which the statute of limitations may be extended.
In most felony theft cases, charges are filed well before the statute of limitations expires. That’s why we’ll also take a look at Texas felony theft laws and the penalties and punishments you can expect if you’re charged and convicted.
The clock on these statutes of limitations starts ticking the moment the crime is committed. However, the statute of limitations may be interrupted in the following circumstances:
For example, if you commit a string of robberies and leave the state for six years shortly thereafter, the clock stops the day you leave Texas and starts again when you return. That means you could still face robbery charges in Texas years later.
State Lawmakers Address Catalytic Converter Thefts In Texas
Under Texas law, theft occurs when the defendant takes the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
Failure to perform an affirmative act to prove that the item being sold or given to the defendant is stolen may also be considered theft in this state.
For example, buying a car without a certificate of title and not reporting it to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles could be considered theft.
Thefts in Texas are punishable by the value of the property allegedly taken. Consequently, the more valuable the item or items you allegedly stole, the more serious the criminal charges. You can expect the following convictions and penalties for theft crimes in Texas.
First Time Felony Theft Charges In Texas
Under certain circumstances, a defendant’s charges and penalties may be increased to the next higher level of the felony or misdemeanor charge. Suppose the defendant was a public servant or under contract to the government and committed theft while acting in that capacity. This would constitute a serious offense of theft, which could result in jail time and fines and fees.
This is one of the dozens of scenarios that carry more severe penalties. Prior theft convictions are the most serious offense under Texas law. If you have been convicted of theft two or more times, any theft you commit in Texas will be charged as a felony. It doesn’t really matter what the value of the stolen item is. In theory, you could steal a piece of chewing gum from a store and face felony state jail time.
For example: A woman was caught stealing a pair of shoes from a retail store. The value of the shoes was less than $20.00. Under normal circumstances, this would be a Class C misdemeanor theft charge, punishable only by a fine of up to $500. However, since this woman has two previous convictions for theft, she now faces a charge of theft of property under $2,500 with two prior convictions, a state jail felony punishable by up to 2 years in state jail and up to a $10,000 fine dollars.
What if the alleged stolen property is a motor vehicle? How this case would be charged would depend on whether there was proof that the vehicle was used for pleasure or if there was an intent to permanently deprive the owner of property under the Texas theft statute.
What Are The Different Types Of Theft In Texas?
If the evidence in the case appears to show that the individual was “borrowing” or partying, it is usually charged as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, which is a state jail felony punishable by up to 2 years in state jail and more to a fine of $10,000.
However, if there is evidence to show that the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle, then the defendant could be charged with felony theft if the vehicle was worth more than $2,500, making the crime a state jail felony. . As mentioned above, if the value of the vehicle is over $30,000, you could be charged with theft, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
If you have been charged with theft in Texas, it is important to know your rights and possible legal defenses. Below is a list of common defenses that your criminal defense attorney should explain and address:
Remember that the State of Texas must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the criminal intent of the owner to permanently take the property. What if you have borrowed property from the alleged victim in the past? What if the alleged victim borrowed the property from you? But what if you reasonably believed you were allowed to own the property and had no intention of permanently retaining the owner’s property? These are important aspects that your criminal defense attorney should use as a defense against theft charges.
The Texas Theft Liability Act
What if you were arrested for theft, but there were no real witnesses to the theft and you just had stolen property? Possessing property is not the same as stealing. What if there is video of the incident, but it’s grainy and blurry? The State of Texas must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have been identified as
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