Theft is a very broad term, and is generally defined as stealing another person’s property with the intention of permanently depriving them of that property. There are a variety of different forms of theft, as well as consequences for each. For the purposes of thicrims blog, we will be talking about petty theft, grand larceny, and shoplifting.
Examples of Theft
Example A: You see something you like while at the grocery store. You can’t afford to pay for it, but you have to have it, so you slip it into your pocket and try to leave the store with it. When you reach the exit, an alarm sounds and you panic. You try to return the item to avoid being charged with a crime.
Unfortunately, it could reasonably be assumed that you intended to permanently deprive the store of ownership of the item, and therefore, could be charged with shoplifting.
Example B: You’ve decided that pickpocketing can’t be too hard, and that you feel you would have a natural talent. You go to a crowded area and attempt to lift the wallet of an unsuspecting man. When he catches you and calls the police, only then do you realize you aren’t the Artful Dodger.
Normally, stealing property directly from a person would be called robbery, but since neither fear nor force was used during the theft, it’s more likely that you could be charged with grand theft (grand larceny). Other examples of grand larceny include stealing of cars or property valued at more than $1,500.
What Should I Do If I’m Arrested for Theft in Texas?
The penalties associated with theft in Texas range from small fines and short stints in jail, to 99 years’ imprisonment depending on the type and severity of the charges. You should absolutely hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you build your case.
With the assistance of a defense lawyer, you may be able to negotiate an acceptable plea bargain to minimize penalties, or mount a strong defense which may even see the charges against you dropped completely.