Like most states, Texas takes theft crimes seriously. Depending on the value of the stolen property, you could face significant monetary fines or even jail time. If law enforcement has arrested you for shoplifting or another type of theft offense, reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your situation. Your lawyer can assess the specifics of the case to determine whether the charges can be reduced or dropped altogether.
Penalties for Theft in Texas
Title 7, Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines theft as the unlawful appropriation of “property with intent to deprive the owner of property.” Shoplifting is one of the most common types of theft, as the perpetrator intends to deprive the proprietor of the property belonging to them. Penalties for theft convictions depend on the value of the stolen property. For instance, if the property’s value falls below $100, you could face Class C misdemeanor charges and pay a fine of up to $500. However, as the value of the property increases, so does the severity of the punishment. Stealing property valued between $2,500 and $30,000 is considered a state jail felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine and a jail sentence of 180 days to 2 years.
Defensive Strategies Against Theft Charges
The most important action you can take after your arrest is to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will work with you to assess every detail of the case, looking for violations of your rights or other grounds for having the charges reduced or dropped. For instance, if you unknowingly exited the store carrying an item, your lawyer will work to show that you lacked criminal intent and the action was simply a mistake. Additionally, if this incident was your first offense, the court may sentence you to restitution or community service instead of jail time.
Contact a Skilled Pearland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Facing criminal charges of any kind can be stressful and overwhelming. However, before you assume the worst, enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess your situation and determine the most strategic path forward. Your attorney will work hard to defend your rights and your freedom, seeking the best possible outcome to keep your future bright. Don’t leave your fate up to chance—call a criminal defense lawyer today to get started.
If you are facing theft charges in the Pearland, Brazoria County, or the Houston area, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated criminal defense lawyer.