Dallas Theft Defense Lawyer

Have you or a loved one been arrested for theft in Texas? Then you need to contact the theft defense attorneys at Clancy & Clancy. In Texas, a theft conviction can mean lengthy probation, a jail sentence, and a criminal record that can negatively impact your ability to get a job or attend college. Let the theft defense experts at Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law defend your rights and get your theft charges dismissed or reduced. Don’t gamble with your future, call(972) 908-0695 Clancy & Clancy today!

Understanding Texas’ Theft Laws

If you face charges for theft in Texas, you aren’t alone; theft is among the most commonly prosecuted crimes in the state. Understanding how Texas law defines theft, the potential penalties you may face and the possible defenses to a theft charge are key to protecting your legal rights and achieving the best possible outcome. Here’s what you need to know about theft charges in Texas.

While many states address theft-related offenses using multiple statutes (for example, classifying grand theft auto and credit card theft separately), Texas has just one statute that applies to all theft-related crimes in the state. Texas Penal Code Title 7, Chapter 31 contains all the definitions, classifications and potential punishments for theft offenses in the state. Simply put, theft (or larceny, as it is sometimes called) involves the taking of another person or business’ property with the intent to deprive the owner of their property.

What is Theft?

There are three key elements of the crime of theft as defined under Texas law.

  1. 1. The accused must have taken the property without obtaining the owner’s consent.
  2. 2. The accused must have intended to take the property away from the owner permanently.
  3. 3. The taking of the property must have been unlawful.

Keep in mind that there is no minimum property value in order to qualify as theft under Texas law. You can be convicted of theft whether you stole a $2 pack of gum or a $200,000 car.

Types of Theft

While there is only one statute under Texas law that addresses theft offenses, the law does create seven different degrees of theft charges that offenders may face. The guidelines for these degree classifications are defined mainly by the value of the item or items taken.

Class C Misdemeanor Theft or Petty Theft:

Theft is classified as a class C felony theft offense, state jail felony theft, applies in cases where the value of property taken is between $2,500 and $30,000. There are additional types of thefts that are automatically bumped up to this level, regardless of the value of the property. This includes any thefts of graves or corpses and all thefts of firearms. State jail felony theft can be punished by fines of up to $10,000 and between 180 days and two years in state jail.

Third Degree Felony Theft:

Theft rises to a third degree felony when the combined value of the property stolen falls between $30,000 and $150,000. As with state jail felony theft, there are certain types of theft that are explicitly categorized as a third degree felony, including the theft of horses, cattle or exotic livestock of any value and the unlawful taking of controlled substances of any value from a pharmacy or other distributor. Third degree felony theft carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and a potential prison sentence of between two and 10 years.

Second Degree Felony Theft:

Theft reaches the second highest degree of felony when the property stolen is valued at between $150,000 and $300,000. All thefts of automated teller machines (ATMs) are automatically classified as second degree felonies in the state. Second degree felony theft has a maximum fine of $10,000 and a possible prison sentence of between two and 20 years.

First Degree Felony Theft:

The highest degree of felony theft is reserved for instances when the total value of the property stolen exceeds $300,000. First degree felony theft offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for between five and 99 years.

Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Theft Charges

Do I need a lawyer for petty theft or shoplifting charges?

Yes. Even for misdemeanor theft, you need a lawyer to defend your rights and get you the fairest sentence possible. A petty theft conviction can prevent you from receiving a job, getting into college, or qualifying for a loan or housing lease. Don’t just pay the fine and hope it goes away. Let the theft attorneys at Clancy & Clancy represent you. We will defend you against unfair charges and can work to have your record expunged in the event of a conviction.

What if I have prior theft convictions?

If you have past convictions for theft, the charges you face for any subsequent theft allegations may be elevated. Specifically, if you are accused of stealing property worth less than $100 (normally a class C misdemeanor) but you’ve been convicted of any degree of theft in the past, the charges are automatically elevated to a class B misdemeanor.

Are there any additional circumstances that can change the degree of charges faced?

Yes, Texas statute outlines several cases in which the charges are automatically increased by one degree (e.g., from third degree felony theft to second degree felony theft) from how they would normally be categorized based on the value of the property stolen. This includes public servants who are accused of stealing at work or minors may face reduced charges. The theft lawyers at Clancy & Clancy have significant experience defending clients against charges ranging from shoplifting and petty theft to grand larceny and auto theft. We know the law and can represent your interests effectively.

Can I get my theft charge dismissed?

At Clancy & Clancy we strive to help all of our clients get their charges dismissed or reduced. Several factors may enable you to have your charges dismissed. You may not have known the item was stolen, or someone else took the property and you were falsely accused. The prosecutor must prove that you intended to deprive the owner of their property. Our experienced theft attorneys have the knowledge and the understanding to develop a defense strategy and get you a dismissal or charge reduction.

Contact a Dallas Area Theft Lawyer

Tim Clancy utilizes years of experience to aggressively defend clients. If you are facing theft charges, and need an experienced Texas criminal defense lawyer, we can help.

For additional information about theft laws in Texas, schedule a confidential consultation by calling us at (972) 908-0693. If you prefer, fill out our contact form and we will contact you.

Tim Clancy's Theft Case Results

Client Initials
Theft Charge
Case Outcome
Court Jurisdiction

J. A. 

Theft 100 - 750

Dismissed

Dallas County

K. C.

Theft 2500-30,000

Grand Jury No Bill

Denton County

J. A. 

Theft 100 - 750

Dismissed

Dallas County

K. D.

Expunction-Theft 100-750

Granted

Collin County

M. F.

Expunction-Theft 500

Granted

Collin County

K. F. 

Motion for a Non Disclosure of Criminal History-Theft

Granted

Dallas County

P. F.

Theft 100-750

Dismissed

Dallas County

K. L.

Theft 100-750

Dismissed

Dallas County

M. O.

Theft $30,000

Dismissed

Dallas County

B. S.

Expunction-Theft 50 

Granted

Dallas County

B. W.

Theft 100 - 750

Dismissed

Dallas County