If a family member or friend of yours has been arrested with a theft charge, it’s important to know how these types of charges are going to work. First off, when someone is charged with something, it means that they are accused of something, but that doesn’t mean that they will be convicted or sentenced for that particular charge. In the case of theft charges, there are a couple of factors that determine how they will work. The judge will need to look at these types of factors–what was stolen, what is the value of the stolen property, what is the person’s history with theft, and what their general criminal history. Depending on those factors, will determine whether the theft charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. There is always the question of, “How much jail time can you get for theft?” and it really does depend on those listed factors above.
While it will definitely affect you in the present time, people who have theft charges also need to know how it will affect their future. If convicted and sentenced with a theft charge will have it on their permanent record. That means when they are looking for a job and they go through a backyard check, the theft charges will show up. This can really impact a person’s ability to secure a job, even if the theft charge was minor.
Theft Vs Larceny
When we see the terms theft and larceny, we tend to think that they are interchangeable words. However, it’s important to know that theft and larceny are two different things. In fact, theft itself is sort of umbrella term to categorize common types of theft. Theft itself is when someone steals any kind of object from a car to a pencil, but there are different types of theft, which include robbery and larceny. Both larceny and robbery are theft crimes, but they are very different. Larceny is when someone steals another person’s property with the intention of never giving it back; robbery is when someone steals from another person using force or threat while the person is present, while also having no intention of giving the said property back. Robbery is considered a more serious crime than larceny because the robber is using force and threats to steal the property, so it is always considered felony theft. Another type of crime that always gets lumped in as a theft crime is burglary. While people commit burglary to steal things, they can also break and enter a property with the sole intention of hurting someone and not stealing a thing. So when people use theft and larceny, know that theft is the encompassing term of different types of theft, whereas larceny is theft that includes stealing property and never giving it back.
What Are the Different Types of Theft Charges?
When discussing the types of theft charges there are, there are always the questions of, “How much jail time can you get for felony theft?” “What type of theft is considered a misdemeanor?” Because there are many types of theft, the charges are going to depend on the severity of the crime, the value of the property, as well as the past criminal history of the perpetrator. However, we can always divide charges into misdemeanor and felonies, so knowing what the penalties for misdemeanors and felonies can help you out regardless of what theft crime was committed. The most common types of theft are embezzlement, fraud, shoplifting, grand theft auto, carjacking, robbery, and identity theft, with all of those having the potential to be a misdemeanor or a felony.
So, how much theft is a felony? In the state of Texas, the amount of property that would have to be stolen would be over $1,500. It’s important to note that sometimes felony theft is referred to as grand theft, but it’s not the most accurate term because some types of misdemeanor theft are considered grand theft. Basically, for it to be grand theft, the amount of stolen property has to be over $950. There are four different types of felony charges for theft in Texas.
- State Jail Felony: State jail felony is when you steal more than $1,500 but less than $20,000 in stolen property or items. the penalty for a state jail felony is 180 days to two years in state jail, with a fine of up to $10,000.
- Third Degree Felony: A third-degree felony is when someone steals more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 of stolen property or items. With a third-degree felony, the penalty will be two to 10 years in prison and a fee of up to $10,000.
- Second Degree Felony: This is when someone steals more than $100,000 but less than $200,000 in stolen property and items. The punishment for this type of felony is two to 20 years in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000.
- First Degree Felony: With a first-degree felony, someone would have to steal up to $200,000 or more in property and items. The punishment for these theft charges is five to 99 years in prison, with a fine of up to $10,000.
For those who want to know How much jail time can you get for felony theft, it all depends on the amount that is stolen. Moving on to misdemeanors, these types of theft crimes are a lot less severe than felony theft. In some instances, misdemeanor theft is called petty theft, but that is only when the property that is stolen is less than $950. In the state of Texas, there are three types of misdemeanor classifications and penalties.
- Class C Misdemeanor: When you commit a Class C misdemeanor, it means that property stolen is valued at less than $50. There is no jail time and the fine is of up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor: The property value that needs to be stolen for this type of misdemeanor is more than $50 but less than $500. The penalty is up to 180 days in jail, with a fine payment of up to $2,000.
- Class A Misdemeanor: Stolen property has to be valued at more than $500 and less than $1,500. Jail time for this type of misdemeanor is one year or less and a fine of up to $4,000.
So do first time offenders go to jail? It will all depend on the value of the stolen property.
How To Get Theft Charges Dropped
When you are looking to getting theft charges dropped, it’s going to work a lot like how they decide on what the penalty will be. What is the value of the property, is it a first-time offense, etc. So can petty theft charges be dropped? Typically, yes, if it’s your first time. Petty theft is property stolen that is less than $950, so if it’s your first time being charged, then there may be a way to drop the charges and go through a diversion program. Felonies are a different story, as someone who commits those types of crime might have a prior history or has stolen property over $1,500. But can you just get probation for a felony? It will definitely depend on the circumstances, but its good to know that with probation there will be restrictions, so people with theft charges need to consider that.