Petty Theft Crimes
Petty Theft is the act of taking something that does not belong to you, without permission from the owner of the item, or the party responsible for the item. This can range from things like stealing money from the cash register at work, removing anti-theft devices from a jacket at a shop, or doctoring financial statements to skim money from a corporation. Regardless of the amount, the act, or the situation, Texas defines theft as the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property in the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 31. In some states, there are separate charges for things like embezzlement or shoplifting. In Texas, however, it all falls under the same crime and is designated based on the value of the property in question. You can be charged with theft even if you were caught attempting to steal the property.
A petty crime is a minor legal offense. In some instances, the term is used as an alternative phrase for misdemeanor, while in other cases, petty crimes are a separate category of offenses. In either instance, a petty crime can refer to both criminal offenses and civil infractions. Examples of offenses that may be petty crimes include public drunkenness, jaywalking, and pickpocketing.
Petty theft is a term used to describe the theft of low-value items and is typically a misdemeanor charge if there are no additional crimes or enhancements. While a misdemeanor may not be as serious as a felony in terms of penalties or the long-term impact that a conviction may have on your life, it is still essential that you work with an attorney to seek the top possible outcome and understand how to handle this aspect of your criminal record
Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney during a free initial consultation to discuss your theft charges. Read more below about the possible penalties for petty theft charges below to get an idea of the possible outcomes. During your consultation, you will be able to speak with a lawyer about the specifics of your case, and how they have handled similar situations in the past. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to begin building your defense for a favorable outcome.
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What Is Petty Theft?
Petty theft, although not given a specific definition in the Texas Penal Code, is considered any sort of misdemeanor theft charge in the state. While the penalties are less severe than a felony, there are many different reasons that you want to have this case handled with sensitivity and competence.
Petty Theft Charges and Penalties
Class C Misdemeanor
Theft of items with a total combined value of less than $100. This can result in up to a $500 fine.
Class B Misdemeanor
Theft of items that are valued between $100 and $750. Fines of up to $2,000, and up to 6 months in jail.
Class A Misdemeanor
Theft of items with a combined value of between $750 and $2500. Fines of up to $4,000, and up to a year in jail.
Future Impacts of a Petty Theft Conviction
If you have two petty theft (misdemeanor) convictions on your criminal record in Texas, then any future arrests that would have otherwise been another misdemeanor will be upgraded to at least a state jail felony. With this charge, you face fines of up to $10,000, as well as possible jail time of between 6 months and 2 years.
As you can imagine, two prior convictions for relatively minor theft crimes such as shoplifting items under a value of $100 can suddenly turn into major, life-changing issues in the Texas court system if you are caught a third time. This is why it is absolutely essential that each charge is handled with care.
Contact Us Today
If you are facing petty theft or misdemeanor theft, charges, contact us as soon as possible to learn more about how we can help you through this process, and how we will work to minimize the future issues that these charges may cause in your life. Although these charges may seem small or inconsequential, you want to be sure that you handle them with the utmost importance so that they do not create bigger problems down the road. We look forward to working with you.