The penalties associated with theft in Texas can be very severe. However, like most criminal charges, the punishment you might face in case of a conviction will directly relate to the seriousness of the offense. For example, the penalties for shoplifting a pack of gum will be extremely different than those for stealing a Ferrari.
In general, theft occurs when an individual takes someone else's property without permission. A person might also commit theft by knowingly taking possession of property that another person previously stole. The following information describes some of the penalties you could face if the court convicts you of larceny in Texas.
If you steal property that has a value of $50 or less, the court might convict you of a Class C misdemeanor. A Class B misdemeanor is for theft in the value of $50 to $499 and a Class A misdemeanor is for $500 up to $1,499. If the property has a value of $1,500 but less than $20,000, the court might convict you of a state jail felony. If the value of the stolen property is $20,000 to $199,00, then you could end up with a Second or Third Degree felony depending on the total value. In cases where the property is $200,000 or more, it is a First Degree felony. Punishments for theft can range anywhere from a $500 fine to 99 years in prison and possibly a $10,000 fine.
There are several common defense for theft charges. For instance, you may have taken the property without the intent to deprive the actual owner of it. Or, there might be a mistake of fact. You may have taken the property believing that you were the rightful owner. Another possible defense is that you were under duress. In other words, someone forced you through the threat of bodily harm to take the property.
If you are facing a larceny charge in Dallas, it is important to remember that you still have rights and options. With the right defense, you might be able to fight back against the charges.