Millions of Americans now do their shopping predominantly online, especially during the holidays and now a pandemic. Due to the fast turnaround, especially with Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping, it is easier and safer to have your purchases promptly delivered to your home.
Unfortunately, this recent trend has created a new type of thief known as a “porch pirate,” who steals packages and other forms of mail from people’s homes. While many states punish these crimes according to their theft laws, others have enacted their own laws specifically addressing such thefts.
Texas is one of those states. Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 37, which makes stealing any form of mail a felony crime, no matter how much the contents of the package are worth. This law took effect in September 2019.
The specific penalties for mail theft depend on the number of homes affected by the alleged crime. For instance, stealing from fewer than 10 homes is a state jail felony. Mail theft involving between 20 and 50 homes is a second-degree felony, while mail theft involving over 50 homes is a first-degree felony.
A conviction is punishable by imprisonment between six months and 10 years, as well as a fine between $4,000 and $10,000. Before this recent law, mail theft was a misdemeanor that carries only a minor fine.
If you or a loved one are facing theft charges in Plano or Fort Worth, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today for a confidential consultation. Let a former prosecutor fight for you!