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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Theft crimes are taken very seriously in Texas. When anyone is punished with a criminal conviction of any sort, it can have a life-long impact upon the defendant.
If you or your loved one has been charged with a theft crime, call upon an experienced Amarillo theft lawyer as soon as possible. An Amarillo theft lawyer can help you or your loved one with all legal matters. Contact an attorney well-versed in Amarillo theft law, who can defend you.
Code Definition of Theft
Pursuant to the Texas Penal Code, a theft occurs when someone appropriates another’s property with an intent to keep the property from its rightful owner. Within the Texas Penal Code, there are 15 sections that identify the many ways a person could be charged with theft.
Petty theft refers to when the value of property stolen is less than $500, it is considered a class B misdemeanor. Even though the penalties are not as harsh as for other theft crimes, there are still lingering consequences that can harm an individual’s future.
Grand theft refers to when property greater than $500 in value is stolen by someone, it can be anywhere from a class A misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. The penalties for grand theft are much harsher than they are with petty theft, resulting in prison time and steeper fines. Such consequences can truly harm a person’s way of life, potentially hindering a person’s future educational and employment opportunities. An Amarillo theft lawyer can help individuals potentially mitigate these penalties.
Other Theft Crimes
Within the two categories of petty and grand theft, there are additional theft crimes found in the Texas Penal Code. There is a theft component for crimes like car theft, armed robbery, larceny, burglary, robbery, and extortion. The potential penalties for each vary in severity.
- Burglary: A burglary occurs when there is an illegal entrance to another’s business or home, with the intent to steal something or to commit another crime. This is a felony charge apart from theft, and any sentence will be added accordingly.
- Larceny: A larceny will be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the value of the stolen property. With larceny, there is no violence involved, unlike a robbery or a burglary.
- Extortion: Extortion occurs when there is a threat of harm to steal money and/or property at some point in the future. Extortion stands apart from theft and has its own penalties.
- Car Theft: The theft of a car is not necessarily a felony in Texas, but rather depends upon the car’s value. If the value is greater than $500, it is a felony. Should there be no aggravating circumstances, then the Texas law surrounding petty and grand theft shall prevail.
- Robbery: A robbery occurs when someone causes an injury or threatens to cause an injury while committing a theft. A robbery is considered a second-degree felony, which presents jail time up to 20 years.
- Armed Robbery: This theft crime is treated like an aggravated robbery. Given that robbery already has the threat of immediate harm, armed robbery is the act of showing the harm will be perpetrated with a weapon.
Contacting an Amarillo Theft Attorney
In Texas, the penalties for theft are stiff and can have a lifelong impact upon anyone receiving a conviction. If you or a loved one is in the very trying situation of being charged with a theft crime, an experienced Amarillo theft lawyer can assist you. Your attorney can present your defense against any and all criminal theft charges. Contact a lawyer today.