Theft Charges in Texas: What They Are & What to Do

Arrested for Theft?

Being arrested is terrifying, especially if you believe the accusations you’re facing don’t reflect reality. When you’re facing the prospect of a lifelong criminal record, you may be tempted to take the quickest route to resolution. We get it—but with the effect criminal charges can have on all aspects of your life, we urge you not to rush into any decision. The state is legally bound to give you a fair trial with qualified representation. Before you commit to any choice of action, you should hire a knowledgeable and determined lawyer to help you understand your options.

Texas Theft Charges

Unlike other states, Texas does not discriminate between types of theft in the courtroom. Whether it’s shoplifting, a home robbery, or embezzlement, any case of theft is legally classified by the amount that was stolen. Here’s how that works out.

Petty Theft / Class C Misdemeanor Theft
If the item(s) you stole are worth less than $100, the case will be handled in municipal court where the judge will likely sentence you to a fine or community service. The maximum fine for petty theft is $500.

Class B Misdemeanor Theft
Stealing items worth more than $100 but less than $750 will result in a more serious theft charge that the DA’s office will handle. A second theft charge, even for items worth less than $100, will also be convicted at this level. You may be fined up to $2,000 and spend up to 180 days in county jail if found guilty.

Class A Misdemeanor Theft
Theft of items above $750 in value but worth less than $2,500 results in the strongest misdemeanor charge in Texas. Shoplifters who use shielding or deactivating instruments can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor even if the items they steal are worth less than $750. If convicted, you may face up to $4,000 in fines and one year in county jail.

State Jail Felony
Another name for a felony charge that is not identified as either a third, second, or first-degree felony, state jail felony charges may cost you up to $10,000 in fines or result in 180 days to 2 years in state jail. All theft of property valued above $2,500 is considered a felony; if the total value of the stolen items is less than $30,000, a prosecutor will most likely bring this level of charges.

Third Degree Felony
Theft of property valued between $30,000 and $150,000 will result in third degree felony charges. You may be fined up to $10,000 and spend between 2 and 10 years in state jail.

Second Degree Felony
Anyone who steals property worth more than $150,000 and less than $300,000 will face up to $10,000 in fines and could be jailed for 2 to 20 years if found guilty.

First Degree Felony
The highest felony theft charge there is, first degree felony has the same fines as other felony-level theft but could result in up to 99 years in prison (with a minimum sentence of 5 years). Any theft of $300,000 or above will result in prosecutors levying this charge.

Fighting Theft Charges

If you’re facing theft charges, especially if you’ve been threatened with a felony, you may be scared of what will happen next. The prosecutor may urge you to plead guilty to get your charges reduced, but don’t say yes before learning about your other options. No one deserves to be punished over unproven accusations, and at LaHood Norton Law Group, we can help you review your case and determine the best possible strategy.

You deserve to have a fair trial, and that means you need someone to help protect your rights. Prosecutors eager to get a conviction sometimes try to rush a trial through without sufficient evidence, and thorough examination might show that their case isn’t as airtight as they claimed. Whether you’re looking for a pre-trial diversion program, a good plea bargain, or a strong courtroom defense, our team is here to help.

Reach out at (210) 801-9400 or contact us online to see what we can do for you.

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