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Theft can range from shoplifting to complicated schemes involving large sums of money. The range of punishment can be as small as a fine only to a lengthy prison sentence but any theft conviction can have devastating effects on a person future. A Houston Criminal Defense Attorney explains.

    A person commits theft if they unlawfully take property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property without the owner’s permission.  The consequences of a theft depend on the value of the property involved.  Below I will provide a chart to help you see the offense level of a given theft.

  1. Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than fifty dollars.
  2. Class C misdemeanor if the value is under twenty dollars and the defendant obtained the property by writing a check.
  3. Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property is over $50 but less than $500.
  4. Class B misdemeanor if the value is over $20 but less than $500 and the defendant obtained the property by writing a check.
  5. Class B misdemeanor if the value is less than $50 and the defendant has been convicted of theft in the past.
  6. Class B misdemeanor if the value is less than $20 and the defendant obtained property by check and has been previously convicted of theft.
  7. Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property is over $500 but less than $1,500.
  8. State jail felony if the value of the property is over $1,500 but less than 20,000.
  9. State jail felony if a firearm was stolen.
  10. State jail felony if the property stolen is less than $1,500 and the defendant has been previously convicted of two or more thefts.
  11. Third degree if the value of the property is over $20,000 but less than $100,000.
  12. Second degree felony if the value of the property is over $100,000 but less than $200,000.
  13. A first degree felony if the value of the property is over $200,000.

    The statute covers crimes ranging from shoplifting to sophisticated schemes to take large sums of money and punishments from a fine only to a lengthy prison sentence.  You should take any theft extremely seriously.  Something as small as a seventy-dollar theft from a department store can have a profound impact on your ability to find a job.  We have been told that theft is among the most difficult offenses to overcome when searching for a job because it raises serious questions for employers regarding their ability to trust someone.  We are experienced Harris County Criminal Defense attorney’s who will fight to defend your rights.  We will review all of the evidence they have against you, including the values of the items, which is not simply what a store says they are, and find a defense.  We will find a strategy that will enable us to get the best result for you.  Please call us for a free consultation at 713-651-1444 or fill out a secure online contact form.  With offices in Houston we represent individuals accused of theft in Houston, Galveston, Fort Bend, Brazoria County and other surrounding counties.