While all criminal acts are treated seriously in Texas, some crimes result in much harsher punishment.
Many theft crimes result in misdemeanor charges. However, when the amount taken or value of the item stolen is significant, this could result in felony charges.
Felony theft charges
This is what occurred recently in Houston. Based on recent reports, a former Harris County deputy at Precinct 4 was indicted for theft charges. The 39-year-old faces two counts of bribery and one charge of theft of more than $2,500 and less than $30,000 by a public servant.
Reports allege that he threatened the employees at four Vietnamese businesses located in north Huston, resulting in him taking $5,700 from cash registers and tip jars. Investigators asserted that the former deputy would wear his uniform during these robberies and disconnected security cameras while inside these businesses.
In other words, he allegedly used his badge to coerce, intimidate and steal from these businesses.
While investigators believe that there are more victims involved that have yet to come forward, the former deputy is facing two second-degree felony charges for bribery and one third-degree felony charge for theft. The maximum penalty of the bribery charges is 20 years in prison while the theft charges carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.
When facing criminal allegations, defendants are afforded the right to a criminal defense. Taking the steps to assert a defense could help the accused reduce the charges and penalties against them. Furthermore, it could help them clear their name, dismissing the charges altogether.