Theft Crimes Defense in San Antonio
Weakening the Prosecution & Promoting Your Freedom
Compared to many other crimes, theft crimes carry with them more leniency and allow for collaboration with the prosecution. But, upon a closer look at the actual penal code, what actually constitutes theft, it can be committed easier than we may think.
Texas Penal Code Chapter 31 sets out a very broad definition of "theft." It states:
- (a) A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property. (b) Appropriation of property is unlawful if:
- (1) it is without the owner's effective consent;
- (2) the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
- (3) property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
So, even if you intentionally place an item at a department store in your wallet or pocket, but have not yet left the department store, you have technically committed theft. The prosecution need only prove that you moved another person's property without his or her permission.
Penalties for Theft Crimes in Texas
The amount or value of the property that has been stolen justifies how much of a punishment is permissible under the law. The lesser value of the property allegedly stolen, the lesser the punishment sentenced to the individual found guilty of committing it.
The breakdown is as follows:
- $50 or less: Class C misdemeanor, carrying only up to a $500 fine as a punishment
- $50-$500: Class B misdemeanor carrying a fine and a possible 6 months in county jail
- $500-$1500: Class A misdemeanor, punishable by fine and up to a year in county jail
- $1,500 or more: Felony sentence, 6 months in the state jail or up to 99 years in prison
The Bexar County District Attorney also aggressively pursues hot check writers by filing Theft by Check charges. These cases are usually filed as Class B misdemeanors meaning you can be punished up to 6 months in county jail for each bad check!
Roberto Ambrosino from the Law Office of Roberto Ambrosino, PLLC has handled theft cases all over the great State of Texas with nearly 10 years of experience. A San Antonio criminal defense lawyer is necessary to effectively tell your side of the story and not let a misunderstanding turn into misdemeanor or felony theft charges. Contact me today.