Theft is a common crime in Texas. If you or a loved one has been arrested for theft, you probably have a lot of questions about what the consequences might be. The answer is: it depends. Like most states, Texas classifies theft crimes according to the value of the property or service that has been stolen. If the value is low—under $50—the worst that can happen is that a fine of up to $500 can be charged. Anything over $50 in value, though, and there could be jail time involved. Incarceration penalties for theft in Texas range from a possible 180-day sentence to a possible 99-year sentence, with varying lengths of jail time in between. Whether the value of the item you or your loved one is accused of stealing is big or small, you need a skilled attorney to help you avoid life-altering consequences. Michael H. Pham is that attorney. Call his Law Office today at 713-236-7791 to get started on the road to a better future.

What is Considered Theft in Texas?

Obviously, taking property that isn’t yours is considered theft, but there are other forms of theft you might not know are classified that way. In addition to property theft, Texas categorizes writing bad checks and embezzlement (stealing from your employer) as forms of theft. Fraud is also charged as theft for things like using another person’s credit card or forging their signature, lying on a credit application, or stealing someone’s identity for financial purposes.

What is Considered Misdemeanor Theft in Texas?

If you or a loved one has been accused of stealing goods or services worth anything up to $1499, you are looking at misdemeanor charges. Depending on the value of the stolen property or service, you could be charged with any one of three levels of misdemeanor. Penalties range from a fine up to $500 and no jail time for a Class C charge to a fine of up to $4000 and up to one year in a county jail for a Class A charge.

At What Point Does Theft Become a Felony?

Just as it is with misdemeanors, whether theft is charged as a felony and at what level is based on the value of the stolen goods or services. The lowest-level felony is for theft of $1500-$19,999 in value and carries with it a possible sentence of 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.At the highest level, a first-degree felony theft valued at $200,000 or more could get you 5 to 99 years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

What Can an Attorney Do for Me if I Am Charged with Theft?

Theft is a serious crime that can come with serious consequences. An experienced defense attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal system to bring your case to its best outcome and secure your future. Contact the Houston Law Office of Michael H. Pham at 713-236-7791 today to get the help you need.