Driving along the road, you might see a dog wandering around without an
owner. Believing the animal is a stray or neglected, you may be tempted
to take it home with you. However, depending on the specific circumstances,
doing so could be considered
Under Texas law, theft occurs when a person takes someone else’s
property without their consent. The intention behind this act must be
to deprive the owner of the object.
The statute defines property as, among other things, any tangible object
or item of value. That includes a person’s pet.
In August of 2019, a Texas woman was charged with this offense after she
took two dogs in Van Zandt County. The animals belonged to a family that
was out of town and had a friend looking after them. The dog-watcher let
them out of the home, but when she went to bring them back in, they were missing.
The ensuing investigation led authorities to a woman who claimed she found
the dogs and took them, believing they were neglected by their owners.
She sent them off to a rescue shelter in Wisconsin. Later, law enforcement
found that her story wasn’t entirely accurate.
The woman was charged with theft for taking property valued between $750
Law enforcement contacted the owner of the shelter that the dogs were sent
to, attempting to retrieve them. However, she refused to release them.
She could also face charges for knowingly possessing stolen property.
The level of charge for this offense depends on the type of item pilfered
and the object’s worth. Violators could face a Class A, B, or C
misdemeanor or a third-degree felony. Penalties include up to 1 year in
jail or up to 10 years in prison. A person could also be subject to up
to $10,000 in fines, depending on the level of charge.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Jerry Loftin & Associates Today
A theft crime conviction could have serious consequences on your life.
Not only could it result in jail or prison time and fines, but it could
make it challenging to get a job or find a place to live. Our attorneys
are here to prevent that from happening. Backed by over 65 years of experience,
we know what it takes to develop effective defense strategies for these
types of matters. We will work toward getting your charges reduced or dropped.
Speak with a member of our team today by calling us at (817) 591-7850 or
contacting us online.