We have been told to not take what does not belong to us. This is applicable when it comes to theft crimes. When an individual seeks to take property from its owner, this is considered theft. But what if a person did not intend to take the property away from the owner. Facing theft or larceny charges can be an overwhelming experience, as one may not fully understand their options or convey what has occurred. This is why it is important to not only understand the applicable laws in Texas but also the available defense options.
Based on Texas laws, a theft or larceny is committed when one takes the property of another person with the intent of depriving them of the property that they own. This crime is not only committed when there is a direct taking of the property. A theft charge could result when one takes the property that they know was stolen from someone else.
For a theft charge to result, the value of the property does not need to be large. In fact, one could be convicted of theft even when the value of the stolen property was small. However, the penalties associated with the crime are based on the value of the stolen property. It could range from a Class C misdemeanor, which is for property valued at $50 or less, to a first degree felony, which is for property valued at $200,000 or more.
When faced with a theft charge, one should consider the matter and the defense options available to them. Because it is an intent crime, he or she could assert a lack of intent. This means that they did not intend to deprive the owner of their property. Other defenses include mistake of fact, age and duress. Depending on the facts of the matter, a defendant may have various defense options that could help lessen the charges or clear his or her name.
Theft offenses can carry with them serious criminal consequences, making it imperative that those accused of such crimes consider initiating a defense. By considering all the evidence involved and the matter as a whole, it is possible to move forward with an aggressive defense that could assist a defendant with reduced and even dismissed charges.