Houston Theft Lawyer

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Houston Theft Attorney

Facing the consequences of a theft charge can be daunting, terrifying, and embarrassing. You may feel like you are out of options and have no idea what to do next. Theft is taken very seriously in Texas, and there is a chance that you could be made an example by the court system. Don’t let that happen. If you are faced with a theft charge and need immediate representation, reach out to a Houston theft lawyer as soon as you can.

Theft is a serious offense in Houston that can have equally serious repercussions. If charged with theft, you may face a jail sentence, substantial fine, and permanent record of a theft conviction. This serious impact of a theft conviction makes your defense to theft charges highly important and the advice of a Houston Theft Lawyer extremely valuable.

As one of Houston’s leading private, criminal defense firms, Greco Neyland, has the local experience and state-wide knowledge to provide the high-quality defense you deserve.

Houston Theft Lawyer

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Theft Law Firm in Houston, TX

In Houston, you can be arrested and charged with a theft offense under Texas laws. The statute that criminalizes theft, or larceny as it is called in other states, covers a broad range of illegal actions, including unlawfully taking the property of another person or knowingly possessing the property you know as stolen.

The Texas Penal Code, which is the set of statutes that provide the criminal laws for the entire state, defines theft as:

  1. Unlawfully appropriating;
  2. The property of another person;
  3. With the intent to deprive the rightful owner of such property.

Essential to this definition and any case a Houston prosecutor might bring is what it means to unlawfully appropriate property. As a Houston criminal lawyer can tell you, not all actions of taking or using someone else’s property are unlawful or appropriation. What does qualify?

  • The property is taken without the rightful owner’s consent;
  • The defendant appropriates property that he or she knows was previously stolen; or
  • The defendant is told by law enforcement that property is stolen and the defendant takes it believing it to be stolen property.

Similarly, the intent of the defendant at the time the property is taken is crucial. There must be evidence that the defendant did or planned to keep the property for an extended period of time or use most of its value. If a Houston theft lawyer at Greco Neyland can disprove intent, you won’t be convicted of theft.

What Is the Punishment for a Theft Conviction in Houston?

While Texas has a consolidated theft statute that is applied in Houston, Harris County, and elsewhere, there are different degrees and severity of offenses in the state. The exact charges against you and the degree of gravity are determined by the fair market value of the property stolen. Other factors that may lead to heightened theft charges are:

  • The identity of the victim or rightful property owner;
  • The type of property stolen, for example, theft of firearms is held to a higher standard; and
  • The means or method used to steal the property.

Once these factors are taken into consideration by a Houston court, a sentence is determined. If you are charged with theft, the exact offense could range from a class C misdemeanor to the most serious crime in the state, a felony in the first degree.

  • Class C misdemeanor: theft of property valued at $100 or less, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $500
  • Class B misdemeanor: theft of property valued between $100 and $750, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000
  • Class A misdemeanor: theft of property valued between $750 and $2,500, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $4,000
  • State jail felony: theft of property valued between $2,500 and $30,000, which is punishable by up to two years in county jail and a fine of $10,000
  • Felony in the third degree: theft of property between $30,000 and $150,000, which is punishable by 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000
  • Felony in the second degree: theft of property between $150,000 and $300,000, which is punishable by 20 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
  • Felony in the first degree: theft of property over $300,000, which is punishable by 99 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

All of these charges can require the advice and representation of an experienced shoplifting, grand larceny, or theft lawyer in Houston.

Theft Offenses

In the State of Texas, theft crimes are very unforgiving. In the old days, people were hung for stealing horses. Killed for stealing. While things have changed slightly since then, the repercussions of a theft case can last a lifetime.

What starts out as a minor shoplifting case can turn into a conviction for theft and the rest of your life will be marred by that classification of “untrustworthy.”

Theft cases are especially devastating as most people at some point in their life have been a victim to theft. As such, they are very wary of hiring, associating, or hanging out with people who are convicted of theft. The saying, “once a thief, always a thief” is a popular belief still held by many.

The only way to steer clear of this negative connotation is to ensure that you do not get convicted for theft. In order to do that, you must hire a qualified theft defense attorney today.

Theft Crimes Types

Theft From A Person

Theft from a person is essentially a robbery, but without the threat of bodily injury or physical injury to the victim. The most common scenario is the purse-snatcher case. A suspect takes property, which belongs to the victim from their person, but does so without threatening to harm them and without causing any physical injury to them.

These cases are typically filed as robbery cases and are later reduced down to a theft from a person. The significant advantage here is that a robbery is a 2nd degree felony, whereas a theft from a person is a State Jail Felony.

While many cases are reduced to a theft from a person, there are a lot of cases which should be filed as a misdemeanor theft case that are actually filed as a theft from a person. There is a huge difference in being charged with a felony vs. a misdemeanor. Hiring the right lawyer will make all the difference in the world in terms of how these cases are actually handled.

Theft Of Property

Theft cases involving theft of property are a completely different class of theft crimes compared to simple theft or shoplifting. These cases will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
In Harris County, many Judges will not accept the minimum sentence on these cases. Even cases which result in deferred adjudication will often be accompanied with some jail time as a condition of the probation, as mandated by the Judge.

The bottom line is that with theft of property cases, there is a lot more on the line that you need to be aware of going in to this case. You need to hire a theft of property defense attorney who is aware of these nuances and has the experience necessary to help you navigate through it all.


Q: What Is the Law for Theft Under $100 in Texas?

A: Theft under $100 in Texas is considered a Class C misdemeanor, which carries with it a maximum fine of $500 but does not include any required jail time under Texas state law. However, if what you may have stolen is worth even a dollar over $100, then it is possible you could be facing up to 180 days in jail as well as a substantial fine of $2,000. The value of the stolen property in question is taken into great consideration.

Q: How Do You Get Theft Charges Dropped in Texas?

A: There are a number of reasons why you might get theft charges dropped in Texas. In order to convict you of theft, the prosecution will need enough evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you were falsely accused, the following may be your saving grace. Here are some of the various reasons why the charges against you might be dropped:

  • Lack of evidence.
  • Violation of your civil rights.
  • A case of mistaken identity.
  • Failure to establish intent.

Q: How Much Money Has to be Stolen to be Considered a Felony in Texas?

A: Once stolen property is estimated to be valued at a minimum of $2,500, the theft is considered a state felony. At that point, you may be looking at a hefty fine of up to $10,000 and significant jail time of up to two years in the county jail. To be considered a state felony, the property value in question has to be estimated between $2,500 and $30,000. Upwards of $30,000, the felony becomes more serious, and jail time becomes prison time.

Q: What Is the Punishment for Theft in Texas?

A: In Texas, the punishment for theft rests entirely on the estimated worth of the property that you are accused of stealing. If the value is estimated to be less than $100, you may be slapped with a comparatively small fine. The higher the value of the property, the bigger the punishment becomes. You could be sentenced to life in prison for stealing something valued at over $300,000. Your safest bet is to contact an experienced lawyer when you are arrested.

Find The Best Houston Theft Lawyers

Dealing with accusations and charges of theft alone can be exhausting. Your case deserves the right touch and the right support, and the team at Greco Neyland can offer you that and more. It is important that you take the proper steps to protect yourself for every eventuality.

Our team at Greco Neyland has extensive experience with theft charges in Houston and providing the best possible defense to criminal charges. We know your case is unique and take the time to assess what strategy and arguments would give you the best chance at overcoming accusations of shoplifting, stealing, or grand larceny. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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