Felony theft, or larceny, is the act of taking property with malintent. This could be to cause harm to the original owner or to re-sell it to someone else. An officer can charge an individual with felony theft regardless of the value or size of the object. Texas possesses specific laws defining what felony theft looks like and the punishments that it comes with. If you have recently been charged with felony theft in Harris County, its advisable to speak to a Houston criminal defense lawyer right away.
There are several contexts in which an officer can charge you with felony theft:
There are several extenuating circumstances that can call for the dismissal of a case of felony theft:
Larceny charges differ based upon context. In less severe cases, an individual could face a Class C misdemeanor and fine, while increasingly serious cases could result in a first-degree felony charge. The value of the items stolen dictates whether authorities bring misdemeanor or felony charges.
These guidelines for determining the charge in a felony theft scenario change depending on 1) the nature of the crime and 2) if the individual in question has already committed previous crimes. These details could bump a charge up to a new bracket and set of charges. For example, if an individual commits a Class C misdemeanor, but already possesses two charges of felony theft, their charge will automatically be a state jail felony – even if the item they stole is less than $50.
No matter the bracket, fines do not exceed $10,000 in any misdemeanor or felony charge. However, jail time varies between 5 and 99 years, depending on the severity of the charge, and the incidence of previous convictions. The more previous offenses an individual possesses, the greater the consequences will be.
Felony theft is a serious crime that can be committed by willing participants and unknowing accomplices alike. Be sure to purchase items from reliable sources and ask for proof before accepting these items into your possession. Smart consumer practices could prevent you from unwittingly committing a crime.
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