Theft Lawyer – Shoplifting – Larceny in Texas
"Theft in Texas is defined as taking another persons property without permission."
"Having the services of a skilled theft lawyer is important to your freedom."
Larceny is a crime involving the unlawful taking of the personal property of another person or business. It is also what most people think of as being common theft, the taking of someone else’s property without the use of force. A theft lawyer is something you might want to consider.
The Elements of Larceny
- The unlawful taking and carrying away;
Ofsomeone else’s property;
- Without the consent of the owner;
- With the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
According to Texas Penal Code, Title 7, Sec. 31.03, Larceny and Theft include other types of offenses like shoplifting from stores or even stealing a car. The only real requirement for the offense is to knowingly take someone else’s property without their permission. You do not have to keep the property to constitute common theft. The punishments for these offenses is dependent on the dollar value of the item(s) that were stolen.
Consequences of Theft:
Less than $50.00, or less than $20.00 if by check: Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(1)).
$50.00 – $500.00, or $20.00 – $500.00 if by check: Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 180 days, and/or a fine up to $2,000.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(2)).
$500.00 – $1,500.00: Class A misdemeanor, with a jail sentence up to one year, and/or a fine up to $4,000.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(3)).
$1,500.00 – $20,000.00: Felony, with a state jail sentence of 180 days to two years, and/or a fine up to $10,000.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(4)).
$20,000.00 – $100,000.00: Third-degree felony, with a state prison sentence of two to 10 years, and/or a fine up to $10,000.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(4)).
$100,000.00 – $200,000.00: Second-degree felony, with a state prison sentence of two to 20 years, and/or a fine up to $10,000.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(6)).
$200,000.00 or more: First-degree felony, with a state prison sentence of five to 99 years, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00 (Sec. 31.03(e)(5).
Previous Theft Convictions: If you have a record of previous theft conviction, your punishment will increase one level. For example, if you stole a $10 lipstick and you have one prior theft on your record, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor (Sec. 31.03(e)(2)(B)). A theft lawyer can assist you with these enhancements.
Theft of Firearm or Metals: Any theft that involves guns or metals—for instance, copper—is automatically a felony charge (Sec. 31.03(e)(4)).
Texas Theft Liability Act: Victims of a theft can sue for damages in a case separate from the criminal case. The victim can collect actual damages plus up to $1,000.00 against an individual, or up to $5,000.00 against the parents or guardians of a minor (Sec. 134.001).
I've Been Charged with Theft: What's Next?
Typically, a criminal defense attorney will investigate all of the details making up the prosecution’s case. Your lawyer will pick apart the case and find ways to prove that the intent to remove and deprive the owner of the items was not as present as the prosecution says. There is also the important consideration of the value of the item and the total value of what was stolen. Your criminal defense lawyer will strategize a way of keeping that value as low as possible.
The Law Firm of Matthew Pillado has a criminal defense team of Theft Lawyers you can depend on to help prove your intentions and rights in these cases that involve theft, larceny, or shoplifting.
Contact Matthew Pillado PLLC.; Let’s get started.
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TITLE 7. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY
CHAPTER 31. THEFT
Sec. 31.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
(1) “Deception” means:
(A) creating or confirming by words or conduct a false impression of law or fact that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction, and that the actor does not believe to be true;
(B) failing to correct a false impression of law or fact that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction, that the actor previously created or confirmed by words or conduct, and that the actor does not now believe to be true;
(C) preventing another from acquiring information likely to affect his judgment in the transaction;
(D) selling or otherwise transferring or encumbering
(E) promising performance that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction and that the actor does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed, except that failure to perform the promise in issue without other evidence of intent or knowledge is not sufficient proof that the actor did not intend to perform or knew the promise would not be performed.
(2) “Deprive” means:
(A) to withhold property from the owner permanently or for so extended a period of time that a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property is lost to the owner;
(B) to restore property only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or
(C) to dispose of property in a manner that makes recovery of the property by the owner unlikely.
(3) “Effective consent” includes consent by a person legally authorized to act for the owner. Consent is not effective if:
(A) induced by deception or coercion;
(B) given by a person the actor knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner;
(C) given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is known by the actor to be unable to make reasonable property dispositions;
(D) given solely to detect the commission of an offense; or
(E) given by a person who by reason of advanced age is known by the actor to have a diminished capacity to make informed and rational decisions about the reasonable disposition of property.
(4) “Appropriate” means:
(A) to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of title to or other nonpossessory interest in
(B) to acquire or otherwise exercise control over property other than real property.
(5) “Property” means:
(A) real property;
(B) tangible or intangible personal property including anything severed from land; or
(C) a document, including money, that represents or embodies anything of value.
(6) “Service” includes:
(A) labor and professional service;
(B) telecommunication, public utility, or transportation service;
(C) lodging, restaurant service, and entertainment; and
(D) the supply of a motor vehicle or other property for use.
(7) “Steal” means to acquire property or service by theft.
(8) “Certificate of title” has the meaning assigned by Section 501.002, Transportation Code.
(9) “Used or secondhand motor vehicle” means a used motor vehicle, as that term is defined by Section 501.002, Transportation Code.
(10) “Elderly individual” has the meaning assigned by Section 22.04(c).
(11) “Retail merchandise” means one or more items of tangible personal property displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale in a retail establishment.
(12) “Retail theft detector” means an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or magnetic device used to prevent or detect shoplifting and includes any article or component part essential to the proper operation of the device.
(13) “Shielding or deactivation instrument” means any item or tool designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of preventing the detection of stolen merchandise by a retail theft detector. The term includes a metal-lined or foil-lined shopping bag and any item used to remove a security tag affixed to retail merchandise.
(14) “Fire exit alarm” has the meaning assigned by Section 793.001, Health and Safety Code.