A theft conviction based on a high dollar amount taken can lead to a lengthy prison sentence, and felony theft in general can make someone un-hireable in the workforce.
Employee theft, or an alleged theft by an employee from their company, carries an additional stigma. Because of the consequences of a theft conviction, it is important to find the best Houston-based theft lawyer possible for your case.
Texas Theft Punishment Ladder
The punishments for theft are based on the alleged value taken:
|Alleged Amount Taken||Punishment||Punishment Range|
|Over $200,000||First Degree Felony||5 to 99 years prison|
|$100,000 to $200,000||Second Degree Felony||2 to 20 years prison|
|$20,000 to $100,000||Third Degree Felony||2-10 years prison|
|$1500 to $20,000||State Jail Felony||6 months to 2 years state jail|
|$500 to $1500||Class A Misdemeanor||up to one year jail|
|$50 to $500||Class B Misdemeanor||up to 6 months in jail|
Probation is also a possible punishment to theft.
The Law of Theft in Texas
In Texas, theft is defined as when a person:
unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of the property.
The main thrust of the theft statute is the “unlawfully” part—typically, the D.A. must prove that the accused exercised control over or took something, whether property or a benefit, from an owner without the owner’s consent.
The theft statute is broad—it includes accusations of shoplifting, conversion, swindling, extortion, embezzlement, and receiving stolen property.
Defenses To Theft Charges
Every theft case is different, and there are many defenses to theft charges.
For example, in an employee theft case, the D.A. might not be able to connect the employee to the missing funds. In a fraud cause, there is usually some evidence that the accused intended to comply with the rules or agreement.
Sometimes, the D.A. cannot prove the amount alleged and the case can be reduced in punishment. Furthermore, offering to pay restitution to the complaining witness can help lessen or eliminate a theft charge.
Speak with a Houston Theft Attorney Today
If you seek a dedicated and experienced theft defense lawyer for theft-related case in the Houston area, please Contact Me to discuss your case at (713) 487-7575.