Theft is a serious criminal offense and if you find yourself under investigation for it, you have to prepare yourself.
If you are charged with employee theft, understanding its difference from other similar theft charges and applicable penalties can help set your expectations and prepare you for the legal process.
The type of theft does not make a difference in penalties
When imposing penalties, Texas generally considers all types of theft as one and the same. Instead, the value of the property stolen will determine the corresponding penalties, regardless of whether the theft was internal or external.
Specifically, the Lone Star State imposes penalties of $500 up to $4,000 fine and 180 days in jail for misdemeanor cases and a fine between $4,000 up to $10,000 and 180 days in jail to 99 years in prison for felony cases.
Where the distinction lies
Both internal and external theft are criminal offenses punishable by the same guideline of fines and jail time. What makes employee theft different is that it involves other misconduct in addition to theft. For one, theft is a clear breach of an employment contract. Employers place a certain level of trust in their employees and a breach of this trust due to dishonesty and gross misconduct, such as stealing, holds severe legal repercussions.
Your rights as an employee charged with theft
An employee theft allegation or charge can tarnish your reputation, even if there is no conviction yet. Moreover, this can adversely affect any future employment opportunities. Hence, it is crucial to seek guidance and explore your legal options as efficiently as possible.