What is the Lowest Sentence for Theft? What is the Lowest Sentence for Theft?

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What is the Lowest Sentence for Theft?

If there is a possibility that you could be facing theft charges in Texas, this can have serious life-altering repercussions. While theft is not the most severe charge you could get, it can be serious depending on aggregating factors and what category it falls into. That is why it is crucial that you understand the theft charges in Texas and what this could mean for you.

If you are facing theft charges, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent your case. At The Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best criminal defense that can help them avoid the worst theft charges.

Texas Theft Laws

The most current theft laws in Texas are quite simple and straightforward. That includes if a person commits an offense where they unlawfully appropriate property with the intent to deprive the actual owner of the property.

Unlawful appropriation is when another party takes control over property, knowing that it was stolen or that they took it without the owner’s consent. An example of lawful appropriation is when you go to a store and buy something that doesn’t belong to you, but you exchange money for it.

Theft Penalties In Texas

Texas has a penal code that outlines the types of theft offenses and the following penalties under Texas law. In 2015, these laws changed slightly to increase the value threshold for the penalty grades.

Understanding the penal code is incredibly important if you are facing theft charges. These are the details that will dictate the type of charge you are looking at and whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Here are examples of Texas theft penalties:

  • Theft valued under $100 is classified as a class C misdemeanor that is punishable by up to $500.
  • Theft between $100 and $750 is classified as a class B misdemeanor, which can be punishable by up to 180 days of jail time and a $2000 fine. You may still receive a class B misdemeanor if the property is under $100 if you have other theft convictions, or if you stole an identification card.
  • Theft valued between $750 and $2500 is a class A misdemeanor, which can be punishable by up to a year in jail with a $4000 fine.
  • Theft valued between $2500 and $30,000 comes with a state jail felony in Texas. This charge also applies when it comes to theft of a firearm, an official election ballot, a grave, certain metals, and certain livestock. You may also receive a state jail felony if you have two prior theft convictions.
  • Theft valued between $30,000 and $150,000 is a third-degree felony. As of 2017, theft of certain controlled substances can also fall into third-degree felonies.
  • Theft valued between $150,000 and $300,000 is a second-degree felony, which can include theft of an ATM machine.
  • Theft valued at over $300,000 comes with first-degree felony charges.

As you can see, the lowest sentence for theft is if the property is valued under $100. This will result in a class C misdemeanor where the fine will only go up to $500 at the most.

What Can Enhance Theft Charges?

Certain aggravating factors could impact the type of theft charge you receive. One common example of this is violent circumstances, which can result in additional penalties. Here are some other examples of things that could enhance the repercussions of theft:

  • Theft by a public servant or public official.
  • Theft from the government, for which a Medicare provider is responsible.
  • Theft where an elderly person or nonprofit organization is the victim.
  • Theft where someone activates a fire exit alarm, prevents a fire exit alarm, or uses a deactivation instrument to prevent alarm detection.
  • Theft from the government by a government contractor.

Is There a Statute of Limitation For Theft?

In the state of Texas, misdemeanor theft has a two-year statute of limitations, while most felony theft offenses have a five-year statute of limitations. 

Possible Defenses For Theft Charges

Facing theft charges can come with serious consequences that go beyond the charges themselves. For instance, many people find that this will have an impact on their professional and personal lives. It may make it difficult to get a job, or you may lose the job that you already have.

A theft conviction goes on your permanent record, which is accessible to others. Theft also has a stigma that can make it difficult to remain in certain social settings or maintain social connections. 

That is why it is so important to fight their charges to prove your innocence or get reduced charges. Here are some examples of defenses that your criminal defense lawyer could use to lessen your charges:

  • You did not have intent: You may have taken someone else’s property without realizing that you did not have consent or authorization.
  • Low value: The property you took did not meet the value threshold for any theft charges, or it was lower than the charges you’re currently facing.
  • Miscommunication: You may have taken property with consent from the owner, which means that it was never stolen.
  • You were unaware: You may have bought something, or it was given to you without knowledge that it had been stolen.

For the Best Legal Defense in Brazoria County, Contact The Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC

The possibility of being charged with theft can feel very overwhelming, especially if you are looking at one of the more serious charges. You will need to understand these charges and what they could entail, as well as how your attorney could defend your rights.

At The Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC, we have handled thousands of criminal defense cases in Pearland and Brazoria County. If you are looking for compassionate legal representation, contact us today at (832)-230-0075 for a free consultation.

There’s no time to waste. Your defense starts with a free consultation.

Effective & reliable legal counsel throughout Pearland and Brazoria County.