Whether it’s the holidays or a global pandemic, Americans in recent years have relied more and more on online retailers like Amazon to purchase everything from gifts to household items. However, this trend has created a new type of thief known as the “porch pirate,” who steal mail and packages from people’s homes.
Some states, including Texas, have enacted laws to penalize this specific kind of theft crimes. Governor Greg Abbot increased the penalties for stealing mail by signing HB 37 in June 2019.
As of September 2019, stealing mail that is either delivered by a carrier or left by a customer for pickup is a felony crime in Texas. The penalties for mail theft depend on the number of homes the defendant stole from.
For instance, stealing mail or packages from fewer than 10 homes is a state jail felony. If you steal from between 20 and 50 homes, the offense is a second-degree felony. If you steal from over 50 homes, it is a first-degree felony.
A conviction can lead to a prison sentence between six months and 10 years. Additionally, you may be fined between $4,000 and $10,000.
Before the recent mail theft law, such theft was only considered a misdemeanor. When it comes to the federal level, stealing mail is a felony.
Facing theft charges in Fort Worth or Tarrant County, TX? Contact Alband, Lane & Balderama today at (817) 997-4366 and request a free consultation. Get nearly two decades of criminal defense experience on your side!