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Can I Go to Jail for Stealing in Texas?

 Posted on August 25, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Midland Texas Shoplifting LawyerThe Texas Penal Code defines theft as unlawfully taking property without consent through either methods of deception, misrepresentation, or physical seizure. This definition encompasses a range of offenses from shoplifting to bounced checks. The penalty for each offense may be as serious as jail time or as small as a fine. The possession of stolen property does not need to be indefinite, but long enough for the owner to be disadvantaged of its value. 

Categories of Theft 

The most common types of theft in Texas are as follows:

  • General Theft: Taking an item that does not belong to you without permission of possession. This can be taking money out of the tip jar at an establishment you are not employed under, pickpocketing, or even stealing cleaning supplies from work. 

  • Shoplifting: Removing items from the store without the intention of paying for the full value. This may be taking a product, or switching tags with the intention of paying lower price than the product was valued at.

  • Counterfeit Checks: Using checks as a method of payment through an account that either closed or does not have enough money to cover the value of purchase. If your check bounces and you have not paid the seller the full value within 10 days, then under Texas law you have committed theft. This is also the case if you have made a purchase with a check connected to a closed account, as prosecutors do not need proof of intention in situations such as this. 

  • Accepting Stolen Property: Taking ownership of stolen property with the knowledge your possession is stolen is considered theft. This can be accepting a gift of shoplifted clothes from a friend. 

  • Embezzlement: Misappropriation or removal of funds belonging to your employer that has been placed into your trust. This could be if a store manager creates fake employee accounts and pays fake employees in a method that withholds money. 

What Legal Guidance Can Do

In order for you to be charged with theft in the court of law, the prosecutor must provide without a doubt that you acted on criminal intent. This means that you were aware stolen property did not belong to you and that you seized possession without permission of the owner. An attorney could explain your options to you and represent you in court for the best possible outcome. 

Contact Midland County Defense Attorney

Our Austin criminal defense attorneys will guide you through legal options tailored to your specific case and represent you in court. Call Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. today at the phone number 512-474-2222 for a no obligation, free consultation.



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