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Texas Carjacking Rates on the Rise

 Posted on February 07, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Collin County criminal defense lawyerIn the last few years, violent crime rates have risen in many states across the country. One of the most common violent crimes seen in Texas is that of carjacking, or stealing a car using violence or the threat of violence to the owner or driver. In certain parts of Texas, carjacking is up as much as 10 to 20 percent year over year. While the vast majority of people who steal cars are not caught and prosecuted, those who are caught face aggressive, motivated prosecutors and serious criminal penalties. If you have been charged with carjacking or vehicle theft, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands local prosecutors and judges and who will advocate for your constitutional rights. 

What Are the Punishments for Stealing a Car in Texas?

As with most states, the punishments for a specific theft crime depend on the value of the property that was stolen. If you take a car with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the vehicle, at a minimum, you face class C misdemeanor charges and could face all the way up to first-degree felony charges. For example: 

  • Stealing a car worth less than $2,500 is a class A misdemeanor; you face up to a year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
  • Stealing a car worth more than $2,500 but less than $30,000 is a state jail felony; you face between 180 days and two years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
  • Stealing a car worth $30,000 to $150,000 is a third-degree felony; you face up to ten years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

However, if you use force or the threat of force to steal a car from someone, you have committed a crime under Texas’ robbery law and face much more serious consequences. At a minimum, carjacking using force or the threat thereof is a second-degree felony, but if you use a deadly weapon (such as a firearm, crowbar, or baseball bat) or cause serious injury to someone, you face aggravated robbery charges and five to 99 years in prison.  Taking a stolen car across state lines could also trigger federal criminal charges, leading to prosecution from the federal government and very serious penalties. 

Call a Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Charges of vehicle theft are serious and could land you in prison for many years. Call the Plano, TX criminal defense attorneys at The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. to get started on an aggressive defense for the charges against you. We offer free consultations. Call 214-544-0061 today. 





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