In Texas, a person commits a theft offense if he or she unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of the property. Property is defined under Texas Penal Code § 31.01(5) as real property, tangible or intangible personal property including anything severed from land, or a document, including money, that represents or embodies anything of value.
Theft crimes may be a misdemeanor or felony offenses, depending on the value of the property involved in the alleged offense and the alleged offender’s prior criminal record. Convictions not only carry possible fines and terms of incarceration, but alleged offenders can also face possible civil penalties.
Lawyers for Theft Arrests in Houston, TX
If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for a theft crime in Southeast Texas, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC aggressively defends clients in the greater Harris County area including Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Porte, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood and many others.
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Houston can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (832) 530-4070 to receive a free initial consultation.
Overview of Theft Crimes in Texas
- Types of Theft Offenses in Texas
- Civil Penalties Under Texas Theft Liability Act
- Theft Resources in Texas
Types of Theft Offenses in Texas
Texas Penal Code § 31.03(b) establishes that appropriation of property is unlawful if:
- it is without the owner ’s effective consent;
- the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
- property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.
Some of the most common kinds of theft crimes people are charged with include, but are not limited to:
- Theft / Larceny;
- Retail Theft (Shoplifting);
- Theft by Check;
- Theft of Services;
- Grand Theft;
- Grand Theft Auto; and
- Robbery / Aggravated Robbery.
Civil Penalties Under Texas Theft Liability Act
Title 6, Chapter 134 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code is known as the Texas Theft Liability Act (TTLA). The TTLA allows offenders to be held civilly liable for damages resulting from theft offenses.
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 134.003, a person who commits theft is liable for the damages resulting from the theft, and a parent or other person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child is liable for theft committed by the child. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 134.005 establishes that any person who has sustained damages resulting from theft can recover:
- The amount of actual damages and additional damages of up to $1,000 from an alleged offender who commits theft; or
- The amount of actual damages and additional damages of up to $5,000 from a person who has the duty of control and reasonable discipline of a child.
Theft Offense Resources in Texas
Burglary & Theft Prevention | City of Houston — On this section of the Houston Police Department website, you can find several burglary and theft prevention tips. Learn more about improving security around your home. You can also find information about marking your property and forming neighborhood watch groups.
Houston Police Department Headquarters
1200 Travis St.
Houston, TX 77002
Crime Stoppers of Houston — Crime Stoppers of Houston is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides cash rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in a criminal case. Tips can be submitted anonymously by phone, online, or through the organization’s mobile app. Visit this website to view a list of most wanted suspects and read recent press releases.
Crime Stoppers of Houston, Inc.
3001 Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
Theft Offense Defense Attorneys in Houston, TX
Do you believe that you could be under investigation or were you already arrested for a theft crime in Harris County? You should refuse to speak to authorities until you are able to contact The Gonzalez Law Group, PLLC.
Our Houston criminal defense lawyers represent individuals throughout Harris County, Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown and many others. Call (832) 530-4070 or complete an online contact form to have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.