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Theft in Williamson and Bell County

Texas law classifies theft into many different categries, including theft of trade secrets, theft of services and theft by check. Theft crimes in Texas can range from misdemeanors to felonies, and the penalties generally depend on the value of the property that was taken.

Georgetown Theft Crimes Attorney

Texas criminal defense lawyer Michael J. Price understands the Texas legal system and are ready to defend you against the allegations you are facing.

If you have been charged with any kind of theft offense in Georgetown or any of the surrounding areas of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Killeen or Temple, contact Law Office of Michael J. Price, today at (512) 354-1880 or send a convenient online message to discuss the criminal charges.


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Definition of Theft in Texas

According to section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with theft if they unlawfully take the property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of their property without their consent. The most common forms of theft in Texas are:


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Georgetown Theft of Services

According to Tex. Penal Code § 31.04, an individual can be charged with theft of service if they intentionally avoid paying for a service they know is provided for compensation only. This can include:

  • Intentionally or knowingly securing the service by deception or threat,
  • Holding rental property past the expiration of the rental period without consent,
  • Intentionally securing services by promising compensation and then failing to make payment, and/or
  • Using services for the individual’s own benefit when the services belonged to someone else.

A conviction for theft of service can result in any of the following penalties, depending on the value of the services stolen:

  • A Class C misdemeanor if the value is less than $20.
  • A Class B misdemeanor is the value is $20 or more, but less than $500.
  • A Class A misdemeanor if the value is $500 or more, but less than $1500.
  • A state jail felony if the value is $1,500 or more, but less than $20,000.
  • A felony of the third degree if the value is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000.
  • A felony of the second degree if the value is $100,000, but less than $200,000.
  • A felony of the first degree if the value is $200,000 or more.

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Theft by Check in Williamson County

A theft by check offense in Texas can occur when an individual obtains goods or services by writing a check from an account that does not have sufficient funds or from an account that does not exist, according to Tex. Penal Code § 31.06. This offense typically occurs when an individual writes a check to pay for something when they know the check will bounce. This is also commonly called writing a hot check.


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Theft of Trade Secrets in Georgetown

According to Tex. Penal Code § 31.05, the theft of trade secrets can occur when an individual knowingly, and without the owner’s consent, steals a trade secret, makes a copy of an article representing a trade secret, or communicates or transmits a trade secret.

According to Texas law, a trade secret is defined as any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula or improvement that is valuable to the owner.

A conviction for this offense is punishable as a felony of the third degree.


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Theft Penalties in Georgetown

The penalties for theft can vary depending on the value of the property stolen, the type of property stolen, the victim of the stolen property, and whether the alleged offender has any previous criminal history, according to Tex. Penal Code § 31.03. The statutory penalties for theft are as follows:

  • An individual can be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the allegedly stolen property was more than $500 but less than $1,500. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the allegedly stolen property was:
    • $50 or more, but less than $500,
    • $20 or more, but less than $500 and the property was obtained by theft by check,
    • $50 or less, but the offender has been previously convicted of a theft offense,
    • $20 or less, but the offender has been previously convicted of a theft or theft by check offense,

An individual can also be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor if the stolen property was a driver’s license or personal identification of another person. A Class B misdemeanor can result in up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine not more than $2,000.

  • An individual can be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the allegedly stolen property was:
    • Less than $50, or
    • Less than $20, and the offender obtained the property by theft by check.

A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine up to $500.

  • An individual can be convicted of a state jail felony if the value of the allegedly stolen property was:
    • $1,500 or more, but less than $20,000,
    • Less than $1,500, and the offender has previously been convicted of theft two or more times,
    • Less than $20,000, and the property consists of at least 50% aluminum, bronze or copper.

Additionally, an individual can be convicted of a state jail felony if the stolen property was a firearm or the property was stolen from a corpse or grave. A state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to two years in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000.

  • An individual can be convicted of a felony of the third degree if the value of the allegedly stolen property was $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000. A felony of the third degree is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a felony of the second degree if the value of the allegedly stolen property was $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000. A felony of the second degree is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.
  • An individual can be convicted of a felony of the first degree if the value of the allegedly stolen proeprty was $200,000 or more. A felony of the first degree can result in five to 99 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

The penalties for a theft crime can be increased to the next degree of offense if it is committed against an elderly person or a non-profit organization. Furthermore, the penalties can be increased if the offense is committed by:

  • A public servant,
  • A government contractor, or
  • A medicare provider.

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Law Office of Michael J. Price | Williamson County Theft Offense Lawyer

Contact Law Office of Michael J. Price if you have been arrested for a theft offense throughout Williamson County, Texas or the aurrounding areas. Georgetown criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ theft crimes and will make every effort to help you avoid serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.

Contact Law Office of Michael J. Price at (512) 354-1880 or fill out an online contact form to take advantage a free consultation about your alleged theft charge throughout Williamson County and Bell County in Texas.

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