There are many different ways that people in Texas get what they need or what they want. Most of the time they pay for it, perhaps win it or are given a gift. However, there are times people steal it. People may be short of money and steal some food or clothing from a store. Others may find themselves in financial trouble and find what seems like a good way to obtain some extra money. While all theft is illegal, there are different levels of theft.
Like other crimes, thefts that are considered felonies generally result in more severe penalties. There are different levels of felonies as well. The lowest is a state felony. People commit this in a number of situations. These include, but are not limited to, property being between $2,500 and $30,000; theft of firearms, any theft if the person had previously been convicted of two previous thefts and other situations.
People could be charged with a third-degree felony if the value of the property is more than $30,000 but less than $150,000. It is a second-degree felony if the property is between $150,000 and $300,000 or if the money is stolen from a ATM. The highest level of theft is a first-degree felony and people can be charged with this if the value of the property is more than $300,000.
People who are charged with felony theft charges are not automatically guilty though. People must first go through the criminal justice process and it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the people in fact illegally took the property. There could be defenses available though and charges could be dismissed or the person acquitted at trial.
Many people in Texas are charged with theft crimes each year. The penalties for those who are convicted can be severe, but just because people are charged, it does not mean they will be found guilty of the crime. Experienced attorneys understand the potential defenses and may be able to help protect people’s rights.