Theft crimes in Texas can be relatively straightforward occurrences such as shoplifting or complex operations involving many actors. Still, at its core the crime of theft in Texas involves an intentional taking of something that does not belong to you.
What is theft?
Texas law states that a person commits the crime of theft, also known as “larceny” if they take something belonging to someone else with the intention of depriving that person their ownership rights to the property. Theft does not only involve direct takings. If a person takes something they know was stolen by someone else, this also constitutes theft albeit indirectly. The value of the item taken can be small or large — either way, it is a theft crime. However, theft of less valuable items carries lighter penalties than theft of more valuable items, which have heavier penalties.
Defenses to theft charges
One defense that may be appropriate in some theft cases is that the defendant did not intend to steal anything. Another defense is mistake of fact. A third defense is duress, that is, the defendant was forced to commit the theft crime. Finally, minors who commit theft crimes may face lighter penalties than adults who commit theft crimes. Age is not a complete defense, however.
Protect your rights
Being accused of a theft crime is serious. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, you could face significant prison time and fines if convicted. Therefore, you will want to make sure you explore all your defense option so you can develop a solid defense strategy against the charges you face.