There is a wide range of possible kinds of theft, but regardless of what kind of theft may be involved in your case, it is a serious charge that deserves serious considerations. All levels of theft are serious crimes that may have a considerable impact on your future and prospects. You need to have a qualified and experienced lawyer on your side to help defend you against theft charges in Houston.What Is Theft Under Texas Law?
The first step to defending against theft charges in Texas is understanding what you have been charged with. Theft is a complex crime that can apply to a wide range of circumstances, so here is an outline of the different kinds of theft under Texas law.
Stealing Private Property
Direct theft of someone else's private property is probably what most people think of when they think of theft. If you have taken someone else's goods or property without their permission and without paying for that property, it is considered theft. Here are some common forms of theft in Texas:
Organized Retail Theft
Organized retail theft is a kind of shoplifting that, depending on its severity, may be upgraded to a felony charge. Organized retail theft involves others coordinating to steal and sell items from retail establishments. It is common for these theft rings to also be involved in other kinds of crimes, especially drug trafficking.
Theft Of Trade Secrets
You may also be charged with theft without actually stealing any physical property in trade secrets cases. Usually, theft of trade secrets involves business employees using their knowledge of internal business practices, patents, or other protected information to start their own business. Theft of trade secrets may also involve selling privileged business information to competing businesses.
Theft By Check
While similar to issuing a bad check, theft by check is an upgraded crime that requires premeditation were issuing the bad check was instrumental to the theft of an object or information.
This is not a complete list of the different kinds of theft in Texas. For instance, in some cases embezzlement, receiving stolen property, and other crimes may also come with a charge of theft.Penalties for Theft In Texas
The different kinds of theft come with a wide range of penalties if convicted in Texas. That is why it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with theft of any kind in Houston.
Penalties for theft cases range from fines and probation in misdemeanor charges, to much larger fines and possible jail or prison time for felony charges. Depending on the value of the property stolen, and the damages done as a result of the theft, you may face Class A, B, or C misdemeanor charges. Theft can also be state jail, 3rd, 2nd, or 1st degree felony charges in Texas.
Cases of advanced theft, such as theft from a public servant, may carry additional penalties up to one level higher than the level of theft charged. You deserve to be represented by an experienced lawyer who will fight for you. Contact the skilled, criminal defense attorneys at Leeds Law Firm today if you have been charged with theft in Houston, Texas.