Felony theft can take on a variety of forms stemming from shoplifting to automobile theft to extensive schemes to defraud. Although these offenses have differing elements, all of them are theft related and classified as a felony. The penalties for felony theft are far reaching and could result in long-lasting consequences including time behind bars and expensive fines. Not only are you facing the statutory penalties, but since theft is a crime of moral turpitude it could affect your ability to obtain employment in the future.
If you have been accused or charged with a type of felony larceny, it’s essential you enlist the help of an experienced felony theft lawyer in Brownsville, Texas. Having a qualified and skilled defense lawyer on your side will increase the chances of reduced/dismissed charges. In the end, having an attorney could save you a lifetime of struggles related to your criminal history.
Brownsville Felony Theft Lawyer | Cameron County, Texas
Theft is a serious offense, but if it’s classified as a felony the penalties are even steeper. A conviction could mean time in prison, not jail, and thousand-dollar court fines. Not to mention how detrimental a felony conviction could be to your current and future employment. If you or someone you know has been charged with felony theft, we highly encourage you to get in touch with the legal team at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. .
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. is a premier law firm passionate about criminal defense. We have helped hundreds of clients fight their accusations head on and secure favorable outcomes for their cases. With our skills, resources, and extensive experience, our lawyers are ready to chart out an effective and efficient defense plan with you. Call The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. today at 956-504-2211 to set up your first consultation free of charge.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. accepts clients throughout all parts of Brownsville and Cameron County including Harlingen, San benito, Los Fresnos, La Feria, Olmito, Port Isabel, and Rio Hondo. We also accept clients in surrounding communities including Hidalgo County and Willacy County.
- Examples of Felony Theft
- Elements for Felony Theft in Texas
- Felony Theft Penalties
- Texas Theft Enhancements
- Additional Resources
Examples of Felony Theft in Texas
Under Texas law, theft is an umbrella term for a long list of offenses. It can range from shoplifting at the mall to executing an intricate swindling scheme. Under the Texas Penal Code Section 31.03, you’re guilty of theft if you unlawfully take another’s property with the intention to deprive that person of that property. Under Texas law, it’s unlawful to take another person’s property if any of the following applies.
- Had no consent from the property’s owner
- Possessed the property with knowledge it was stolen
- The property was taken from law enforcement without authorization
Felony theft is any larceny offense that’s classified as a felony. The state of Texas determines whether theft is a felony or misdemeanor based on the value of the property stolen. Listed below are some offenses that may be considered felony theft in Texas.
- Grand theft
- Theft of services
- Theft by false pretext
- Theft of trade secrets
- Possessing embezzled property
- Possessing stolen property
- Swindling with a worthless check
Felony Theft Amount Texas
Theft is classified as a felony depending on the value of the stolen property, goods, and non-tangible items such as services. The court will determine the value of the stolen property by assessing its fair market value or the replacement costs to repair said property. In some cases, the court is unable to determine a fair market value. When this occurs, the judge will deem the item to be more than $750, but less than $2,500.
Listed below are the different market value amounts that meet the elements of felony theft.
- The crime of theft is classified as a state jail felony if:
- The property, services, or goods stolen is at $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000
- The property, services, or goods stolen is less than $2,500, and you have two previous theft convictions on your record
- The property stolen was a firearm
- The property was taken from a human grave or corpse
- The property stolen was less than 10 heads of swine, sheep or goats or a combination under the value of $30,000
- The property stolen was an official carrier envelope for an election or an official ballot for an election
- The stolen property was copper wire, bronze, aluminum valued at less than $20,000;
- The property stolen from the owner was rods, water gate stems, or tubing valued at less than $20,00
- The crime of theft is classified as a third-degree felony if:
- The property, services, or goods stolen is at $30,000 or higher, but no more than $150,000
- The stolen property was in a single transaction was exotic fowl, horses, cattle, and/or livestock valued at less than $150,000
- The stolen property was 10 or more heads of swine, sheep, or goats valued at less than $150,000
- The items stolen were controlled substances from a commercial building or vehicle where prescription drugs are lawfully stored. The value must be less than $150,000
- The crime of theft is classified as a second-degree felony if:
- The property stolen was valued at $150,00 or more, but less than $30,000
- The defendant stole $30,000 or less from an automated teller machine (ATM)
- The crime of theft is classified as a second-degree felony if:
- The property stolen was valued at $300,000 or more
Punishment for Felony Theft
Listed below are the possible consequences for committing felony theft in Texas.
|Level of Offense||Fine||Jail or Prison Time|
Up to 10 years in prison
Up to 20 years in prison
Minimum of 5 years and maximum of life in prison
Theft Enhancements in Texas
In the state of Texas if certain factors were present during the commission of a theft, then the penalties may be enhanced. These factors are referred to as aggravating factors and if they’re found to be present throughout the duration of the offense the prosecution may reclassify your offense up to one degree. For example, if you were initially charged with a state jail felony but an aggravating factor was found by the prosecution, then they would reclassify your charges to a third-degree felony rather than a state jail felony.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 31.03, the following factors could enhance your penalties
- The defendant was a public servant and stole property through their status as a servant
- The defendant was part of a contractual relationship with the government and stole property due to that relationship
- The property was stolen from a nonprofit organization
- The victim of the theft was an elderly person
- The defendant was a Medicare provider in contractual relationship with the government and the property was taken through that relationship
- A shield or deactivation instrument was used to steal property from a retailer
- The defendant deactivated and prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector
Texas Theft Statute – Visit the official website for Texas Legislation to learn more about theft offenses. Access the statutes to find more information about theft of service, theft or trade secrets, unauthorized use of a vehicle and other related offenses.
Kleptomaniacs and Shoplifters Anonymous – CASA is a national organization that allows individuals who are suffering from an addictive-compulsive behavior to meet with others who have dealt with the same type of behavior and help these individuals find effective ways to treat their addiction.
Cameron County Lawyer for Felony Theft | Texas Theft Laws
If you or someone you know has been charged with larceny, it’s imperative you contact a criminal defense attorney for support. For a felony offense, you will need legal representation to effectively fight these charges so you can move on with your life. Contact the attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. to start your defense plan today.
Our attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. have decades of combined experience we can utilize for you. Call our office now at 956-504-2211 to set up your first consultation in the Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County, Texas area.