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Possession of stolen property is a serious offense in Texas

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Some property crimes occur because an individual wishes to gain control over the resources that belong to another person. They see cash or medication, and they decide that they want those items enough to risk breaking the law. Many other times, however, theft has a financial motive. Thieves often target resources they can sell to others. They can, therefore, convert what they take from one party into cash, and then they can do whatever they want with the cash that they obtain.

Texas obviously takes legal action against those who steal from others if they get caught in the act or if police officers can track them down later using witness statements, security system recordings and other evidence. The people who steal can and often do face direct criminal consequences for their choices. However, the state is also concerned with minimizing the market for stolen property. Therefore, the possession of stolen property may be treated as serious of an offense as active theft.

Otherwise innocent people may unknowingly support theft

Resale facilities, like pawn shops, used to be an ideal means of converting ill-gotten goods into capital. Texas laws have made it much more difficult for thieves to sell high-value assets to pawn shops and other established businesses by requiring anti-theft record-keeping measures from those companies. Therefore, thieves have adapted to directly reach possible markets. They sell the items that they have found online or even put up a stall at a flea market offering electronics, designer handbags and other property stolen from others that consumers want to buy.

The unfortunate truth is that if the price of a second-hand consumer good seems appropriately low, there’s a possibility that the item doesn’t belong to the seller but rather just someone else. Those found in possession of stolen property can face the same types of penalties as those accused of stealing the property in the first place. The overall value of the items and the nature of the property will determine the charges and penalties someone faces. If the value of the items is $2,500 or more, Texas prosecutors can pursue felony charges. Not only will someone end up deprived of the item they purchased, but they could also face prosecution.

Developing a better understanding of Texas state law can help people more effectively respond to allegations that they have violated the law by purchasing second-hand property. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to get started building a solid defense strategy under such circumstances.