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Understanding Texas Property Crimes: Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

 Posted on November 21, 2022 in Theft

texas property crime defense lawyerPeople who have been arrested for property crimes in Texas may be confused about the differences between theft, robbery, and burglary. Although these crimes are similar, they are actually quite different and can carry different penalties. If you have been charged with a property crime in Texas, it is important to understand the nuances of these crimes so that you can know what to expect and how to defend yourself.

What Is Theft?

Theft is defined as taking something that does not belong to you without the owner's consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the thing taken. Additionally, theft can also occur when someone obtains services without paying or by deception. For example, if you go into a store and take an item off the shelf without paying for it, you have committed theft. If you order a meal at a restaurant and then leave without paying, you have committed theft. If you lie about your identity in order to obtain services that you would not otherwise be entitled to, you have committed theft. 

In Texas, theft is classified as a misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen was under $2,500. A person may be charged with a state jail felony if they are accused of stealing property valued between $2,500 and $30,000 or a firearm or had two previous theft convictions. Theft of property worth $30,000 to $150,000 is a third-degree felony, theft of $150,000 to $300,000 is a second-degree felony, and theft of over $300,000 is a first-degree felony.

What Is Robbery?

Texas law defines robbery as committing theft while causing someone to suffer a bodily injury, threatening to injure someone, or causing them to fear that they will suffer harm. For example, if you go into a bank and demand money from the teller while implying that you have a weapon, you may be charged with robbery due to the fact that the teller reasonably fears that you will harm them if they do not comply. If you accost someone on the street and demand their wallet or purse while threatening them with violence, you have committed robbery. In Texas, robbery is classified as a second-degree felony. 

What Is Burglary?

Burglary is defined as entering a building or other structure with the intent to commit theft, assault, or another felony once inside. It does not matter whether anything was actually stolen; simply entering the premises with criminal intent is enough to be charged with burglary. For example, if you break into someone's house intending to steal something but ultimately decide not to take anything, you can still be charged with burglary. In Texas, burglary is typically classified as a state jail felony, unless it takes place in a residential building, in which case third-degree felony charges may apply. 

Contact Our Fort Worth Property Crimes Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with a property crime in Texas, it is important to understand what exactly you are accused of so that you can know what penalties you may be facing and how best to defend yourself against the charges. At The Dameron Law Firm, our experienced Tarrant County criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and give you guidance on what steps to take next. We will provide you with a strong defense and work tirelessly to secure a positive outcome in your property crime case. Contact us today at 817-222-0624 for a free consultation.


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