Theft charges could cover simple shoplifting to embezzlement charges. If you face a theft charge in Texas, you need to be prepared to have a strong defense attorney representing you. The state punishes theft charges with fines and prison time.
If you face a criminal charge in Texas involving any theft crime, Kenny Perez Law is here to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers a free consultation.
Texas law and theft offenses
Texas Penal Code Section 31.03 defined theft as the unlawful taking of property with the specific intent of depriving the owner of the property in question. Unfortunately, if you face any criminal charge, there may be theft charges added to them. Some of the most common theft crimes in Texas include:
Shoplifting and petty theft
Crimes where a person allegedly took one or more items from a retailer without paying full price for them could face shoplifting charges.
A person can face this charge by:
- Removing the item from the store without paying
- Changing the price tag on an item to a lower price tag
- Removing security tags from an item
The charges a defendant may face range from a Class C misdemeanor up to a first-degree felony. This is largely dependent upon the price of the item. Because Texas also has a Theft Liability Act, anyone found guilty of petty theft or shoplifting may also face a lawsuit from a retailer.
Texas auto theft charges
Texas makes no distinction between boats, cars, or airplanes when it comes to vehicle theft. The crime is simply taking or deliberately using a vehicle belonging to someone else without express consent. Across Texas, about 65,000 cars are stolen annually, according to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). Texas takes these crimes seriously. If you face an auto theft charge, the state could incarcerate you for two years and fine you $10,000.
Since auto theft is a felony, if the court convicts you, you could face other repercussions:
- Loss of professional licenses
- Inability to secure student loans
- Loss of the right to own a firearm
- Loss of the right to vote until your jail time and probationary period has ended
You must hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney as soon as authorities charge you with auto theft in Texas. Don’t take these charges lightly. At Kenny Perez Law, we know how to fight for defendants facing auto theft charges in Texas.
Prosecutors can enhance car theft charges if you possessed a weapon, displayed a weapon while taking the car, or if the prosecutor feels that you carjacked someone. Regardless of your auto theft charges, we can help mount an aggressive defense. Carjacking charges are among the most serious crimes you could face if authorities accuse you of auto theft.
Receiving stolen property
If police find you with stolen property, you can face a theft charge in Texas. You may have no reason to believe you purchased a stolen item. This may not prevent authorities from charging you with a theft crime in Texas.
Prosecutors look for these red flags when determining whether to charge you:
- Multiple identical items for sale at a below-market price
- Unopened items that seem too good for the price
The state can punish receiving stolen property with the same sanctions as the actual theft, so if you face this charge, work with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Robbery and burglary
Both of these crimes carry serious penalties, but they are slightly different. Robbery is a theft that results in bodily injury or when the victim fears the person robbing them will hurt them.
Robbery crimes are considered second-degree felonies in Texas. If a person was injured, if the crime involved a person who was disabled or elderly, or if authorities allege you used a weapon to commit a robbery, the state automatically upgrades charges to a first-degree felony.
A defendant may face burglary charges when they allegedly enter another person’s home, or any building that is not open to the public, to steal property. Residential burglary can result in second-degree felony charges. If the burglary occurred in a non-residential building, it is a state jail felony charge.
White-collar theft charges
With white-collar crimes, a person has appropriated funds to which they had no right.
Some of these crimes include:
- Tax evasion
- Corporate fraud
- Healthcare fraud
- Money laundering
Federal prosecutors can charge many of these crimes at the federal level, which could increase the sentence following a conviction.
Aggressive defense against Texas theft charges
Too often, defendants in theft cases believe that, because they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, the court won’t convict them. Remember, every prosecutor in Texas knows how to make a theft charge stick and they will put to full use any evidence they possess. Contact Kenney Perez Law today at (956) 544-9292 if you face a Texas theft charge.
When you face any theft charge in Texas, you need to be prepared to mount an aggressive defense. Working with a criminal defense attorney from Kenny Perez Law can ensure you mount a strong defense against any charges you face.