Our criminal defense attorney often gets asked about the difference between felony and misdemeanor theft charges. Understanding the distinction between these two charges is crucial, as it can have a significant impact on your case's outcome. In this blog post, we'll explore what determines whether theft is a felony or misdemeanor and what you can do if you're facing theft charges.
1. The Value of Stolen Property
One of the most critical factors that determine whether theft is a felony or misdemeanor is the value of the stolen property. In Texas, theft is considered a misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than $1,500. If the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,500, it is considered a felony. It's essential to note that this value includes the total value of all items stolen in a single incident.
2. Prior Criminal History
Another factor that can determine whether theft is a felony or misdemeanor is your prior criminal history. If you have a history of theft or other criminal offenses, you may be charged with a felony, even if the value of the stolen property is less than $1,500. Additionally, if you have been convicted of a felony in the past, any subsequent theft charges may automatically be charged as a felony.
3. Aggravating Circumstances
Certain aggravating circumstances can also elevate a theft charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. For example, if you used a weapon during the theft or if the victim was elderly or disabled, the charge may be elevated to a felony. Additionally, if the theft occurred during a natural disaster or other emergency, the charge may also be elevated.
How We Can Help
If you're facing theft charges, it's crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges you're facing and develop a defense strategy. At Alexander J. Houthuijzen, Attorney-at-Law, we have extensive experience defending clients facing theft charges and can help you navigate the legal system.
Understanding the difference between felony and misdemeanor theft charges is crucial if you're facing theft charges. Factors such as the value of the stolen property, your prior criminal history, and aggravating circumstances can all impact the severity of the charges you're facing.
If you need legal assistance with theft charges, contact Alexander J. Houthuijzen, Attorney-at-Law, today.