Under Texas Penal Code § 31.02, the single offense of theft as defined under Texas Penal Code § 31.03 consolidated the separate offenses previously known as theft, theft by false pretext, conversion by a bailee, theft from the person, shoplifting, acquisition of property by threat, swindling, swindling by worthless check, embezzlement, extortion, receiving or concealing embezzled property, and receiving or concealing stolen property. Theft crimes in Texas can be misdemeanor or felony offenses, with the classification usually depending on the value of the property that was stolen.
A person may be accused of theft as the result of an honest misunderstanding, such as a miscommunication between the property owner and the alleged offender or a person thinking he or she had a valid ownership claim.
A conviction for a theft crime can have very damaging long-term consequences, as people with these offenses on their criminal records can experience significant challenges when applying for jobs, housing, or professional licensing.
Attorney for Theft Crimes in Brownsville, TX
Do you believe that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested in South Texas for a of theft offense? Contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible.
Brownsville criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Gracia defends clients in communities throughout Willacy County, Cameron County, and Hidalgo County.
Call 956-504-2211 to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
Cameron County Theft Crimes Information Center
- What are the different kinds of theft offenses in Texas?
- Are there civil penalties for theft crimes?
- Where can I learn more about theft crimes in Brownsville?
Types of Theft Crimes in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 31.03(a), a person commits the criminal offense of theft if he or she unlawfully appropriates property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. Texas Penal Code § 31.03(b) establishes that appropriation of property is unlawful if:
- it is without the owner’s effective consent;
- the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
- property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
Some of the most common kinds of theft offenses that people are accused of in the Rio Grande Valley area include, but are not limited to:
- Burglary of a Motor Vehicle;
- Grand Theft;
- Grand Theft Auto;
- Receiving or Concealing Stolen Property;
- Theft by Check;
- Theft of Firearms; and
- Theft of Services.
Civil Liability for Theft Crimes in Brownsville
Title 6, Chapter 134 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code is otherwise known as the Texas Theft Liability Act (TTLA). Under the TTLA, alleged victims of theft offenses can file civil causes of action against alleged offenders for damages resulting from theft crimes.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 134.003, a person who commits theft is liable for the damages resulting from the theft, and a parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for theft committed by the child.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 134.005 establishes that any person who has sustained damages resulting from theft may recover:
- The amount of actual damages and additional damages of up to $1,000 from an alleged offender who commits theft; or
- The amount of actual damages and additional damages of up to $5,000 from a person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child.
Victims who have sustained damages as the result of theft offenses can recover court costs and reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees, but they can also be ordered as plaintiffs to pay the attorney’s fees of alleged offenders (or defendants) if their TTLA claims are unsuccessful.
Cameron County Theft Crimes Resources
Texas Penal Code | Title 7, Chapter 31 — View the full text of all state laws relating to theft crimes. Under this section of the Penal Code, you can find definitions and explanations of how value is calculated in these cases. You can also learn about when amounts can be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense as well as previously known theft offenses now consolidated under the broader theft definition.
Brownsville Crime Stoppers | Report Crimes You See — Brownsville Crime Stoppers is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and anonymous reward program that involves the citizens, the media, and Brownsville Police Department. The program offers cash rewards of up to $1,000 and guarantees anonymity to people who furnish information leading to arrests or indictments of suspects involved in criminal offenses. You can use this website to submit an anonymous tip online or you can submit tips by phone.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. | Brownsville Theft Crimes Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for a theft offense in Rio Grande Valley area, it will be in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. represents individuals in Hidalgo County, Willacy County, and Cameron County.
Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brownsville who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call 956-504-2211 or complete an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation.