Texas has numerous rules about different types of property crime. Theft offenses range from burglary and robbery to shoplifting. Generally, one of the most important considerations when the state files theft charges against an individual is the value of the property stolen and the degree of threat to others.
However, there are also certain kinds of property that can trigger enhanced charges and penalties. The theft of narcotic drugs from a pharmacy, for example, could potentially lead to felony charges, as could the theft of an ATM machine. What other, more common forms of theft might also lead to felony charges in Texas?
Firearm registration helps authorities track weapons in the United States. Some people are eager to bypass rules that would connect them to a specific firearm and might seek to obtain one illegally. Anyone who steals a firearm either from a business or an individual will likely face a felony charge regardless of the weapon’s value.
Texas has roots as an agricultural state. Ranching has always been a big part of the state’s economy and culture. Therefore, the laws in Texas still have rules making it a felony to steal livestock from someone else. The theft of cattle, sheep or other livestock, regardless of value, will likely trigger felony prosecution.
Some people choose to steal not from individuals but possibly from businesses or vacant buildings to sell what they take as scrap. The theft of copper piping, for example, has been common in recent years because of the resale value of that metal. The theft of metal in particular can also lead to felony charges under current Texas statutes.
Those accused of stealing certain types of property in Texas will face more serious consequences than they would if they had stolen other property of the same value. Ultimately, seeking legal guidance and learning about the nuances of Texas theft laws can help people better prepare a solid defense regardless of what the nuances of their case happen to be.