Criminal Defense

Theft Crimes

Theft, Burglary, Robbery, and Related Crimes

Have you ever been arrested for Theft in Houston, Harris County, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Galveston, or any other surrounding counties in Texas?  

This is a very serious charge that can have lifelong consequences.  In Texas, theft is classified as a crime of "moral turpitude," which means it can interfere with your ability to attend law or medical school, maintain employment, find a future job, and even a place to live.  It's essentially a huge asterisk on your career and resume. 

If you find yourself accused of this serious crime, you need to call a highly skilled and experienced defense lawyer to discuss how he can protect your career and future because THERE ARE DEFENSES to Theft. 

  • In Texas, a person commits theft if that person unlawfully "appropriates" property with the intent to keep the property from the rightful owner of that property.  In other words, if you take something that belongs to someone else, and you don't have their consent or any other legal defense for doing so.

    "Appropriation" of property is unlawful if:

    • It is without the owner's effective consent

    • The property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another, or

    • Property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.

  • A shoplifting charge is another name for theft.  Shoplifting is one of the most common forms of theft.  The degree of criminal punishment varies depending on the value of the item that was allegedly stolen.  If you have been accused or charged with theft or shoplifting, contact the Houston theft lawyer, Chris Denuna, immediately, as there are options available early on in a theft case that could lead to a dismissal.

  • The offense that a person will be charged depends on the value of the property or services. Petty theft is the lowest charge, which applies if the value of the property or services is less than $50, and is considered a Class C misdemeanor. The penalties go up from there.

    • Less than $100 - Class C Misdemeanor

    • $100 or more but less than $750 - Class B Misdemeanor

    • $750 or more but less than $2,500 - Class A Misdemeanor

    • $2,500 or more but less than $30,000 - State Jail Felony- $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 - Third Degree Felony-

    • $150,000 and $300,000 - Second Degree Felony

    • Over $300,000 - First Degree Felony

  • Theft of property or services valued at less than $100 will be charged as a Class B instead of a Class C if that person has any prior theft conviction. Any misdemeanor theft of property or services less than $2,500 will be charged as a State Jail Felony if that person has two or more prior convictions for any level of theft.


    Theft Crimes in Texas Include the following:

    • Identity Theft

    • Fraud

    • Forgery

    • Shoplifting

    • Employee Theft

    • Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle

    • Embezzlement

    • Theft by Check

    • Theft of Metal

    • Tampering with Personal ID Numbers

    • Possession of Stolen Property

  • Burglary can involve unlawful entry into another person's habitation, building or vehicle. These terms have unique definitions under Texas law and according to Tex. Penal Code § 30.01, are as follows:

    • A habitation is defined as any structure or vehicle that is made or used for overnight accommodations of a person, including any separately secured or occupied portion of a structure or vehicle and any type of structure attached or connected to another structure or vehicle.

    • A building is defined as any enclosed structure intended to be used or occupied as a person's home or to be used for trade or manufacture.

    • A vehicle is defined as any device in, on or by which a person or property may be moved for transportation.

    A person commits a Burglary offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:

    1. Enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault;

    2. Remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or

    3. Enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.

    NOTE: You not have to fully enter a building or habitation for the offense to be considered burglary.  All the suspect has to do is place any part of their body, or any physical object connected to their body inside the building or home with the intention of committing a theft, a felony, or an assault for it to be considered "burglary."

    Burglary Penalties:

    • State jail felony if committed in a building other than a habitation.

    • Second degree felony if committed in a habitation.

    • First degree felony if the premises are a habitation and any party to the offense entered with the intent to commit (or attempted to commit) a felony other than felony theft.

    Offenses commonly associated with burglary can include robbery, theft, or breaking and entering.  Burglary crimes can result in severe penalties in Texas depending on the degree of the offense. Therefore, it is important to contact Chris Denuna to help began preparing your best legal defense strategy.

  • Robbery is one of the most severe forms of theft and property crimes, although a defendant often faces severe penalty ranges based on the facts of the case.  If a deadly weapon was used during the commission of the crime, you may face first degree felony penalty ranges. 

    Texas law defines robbery as the act of using force or the threat of force to take someone else's property, including their vehicle. Unlike some other crimes involving theft, robbery is considered a very serious violent crime.  If you are convicted of robbery, you could be facing multiple years of time in prison.

    It is imperative to not waste any time and call Chris Denuna to discuss how he can build you a solid, aggressive defense against your Robbery charges and help protect your rights and freedom against overzealous prosecution.

  • The crimes of Robbery and Burglary are often confused.  Burglary charges are generally brought against those accused of breaking and entering into or onto a property with the intent to commit theft, assault, or another felony.  This means that violence or the threat of violence is not necessary to pursue burglary charges.

    The defining characteristic of the offense of robbery is the use of violence or the threat of violence to commit theft.

    In order to convict a criminal defendant of robbery, however, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to someone else during a theft. A defendant could also be charged with robbery if the prosecutor can prove that the defendant threatened the victim in such a way that he or she feared bodily injury or death during the theft.

    Robbery Penalties

    In Texas, robbery is often a second-degree felony offense punishable by 2 to 20 years of imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division (Prison) and a fine of up to $10,000.

Experienced DWI
Defense Lawyer

If you have a case and want an attorney who will instill fear in the prosecution and DA, call or message Chris today!