When law enforcement arrests you for any type of criminal offense, it’s understandable to worry about how this incident will impact your life. Suddenly, your future becomes uncertain, and you may picture long periods of incarceration, steep fines, and other restrictions. Before you jump to the worst-case scenario, it’s essential to understand the nature of the criminal charges and how Texas typically imposes penalties. If you are facing theft charges in Texas, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights remain upheld at every stage of the criminal justice process.
What Texas Laws Say About Theft Offenses
First, let’s take a look at how Texas defines theft offenses. Under Title 7, Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code, “A person commits an offense [theft] if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.” So, if a person takes possession of property without the owner’s effective consent, law enforcement may place them under arrest for a theft offense. Several types of theft fall under this definition, the most common of which is shoplifting. Whether you are facing your first or third offense, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to discuss the situation.
Penalties For Theft Convictions in Texas
Like many states, Texas penalties for theft offenses correspond to the value of the property in question. In general, the more valuable the stolen property, the harsher the consequences. For instance, theft offenses involving property valued below $100 are usually considered Class C Misdemeanor offenses, carrying a penalty of up to a $500 fine. However, jail time becomes possible for theft offenses involving property valued between $100 and $750. If convicted of a Class B Misdemeanor theft offense, you could spend up to 180 days in the county jail. More serious offenses, such as State Jail Felony theft or First-Degree Felony theft, carry much more severe penalties, ranging from 180 days in a state jail facility to 99 years in prison, steep fines, and other limitations on your freedom.
What to do When Facing Theft Charges in Pearland
If law enforcement has arrested you for an alleged theft offense in Pearland or Brazoria County, resist the natural urge to try to explain yourself. Any statements you make to the arresting officers or investigators can be manipulated and used to build a criminal case against you, so exercise your right to remain silent. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the situation. Together, you can determine the most strategic course of action aimed at keeping your future as bright as possible.
If you are facing theft charges in Pearland or Brazoria County, call the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted criminal defense attorney.