Since online shopping has become a popular way for people to buy things and have their items delivered to their home, this trend has created a new type of thief called “porch pirates,” who steal mail and packages from people’s homes. In response to this recent phenomenon, Texas Gov. Gregg Abot signed a law in June 2019 that makes mail theft a felony offense.
Previously, mail theft in Texas was a misdemeanor that carried a ticket. However, stealing someone’s mail is considered a felony under federal law.
According to HB 37, the charges are based on the number of homes a person allegedly stole from. If a person steals from fewer than 10 people, then it is a state jail felony. If a person steals from 20 to 50 homes, the offense is a second-degree felony. Stealing from more than 50 homes is a first-degree felony.
A conviction is punishable by a prison term between six months and 10 years. Additionally, you could face a fine ranging from $4,000 to $10,000. If mail theft involves identity theft or a disabled or elderly person, then the penalties will increase.
The law went into effect on September 1, 2019.
If you or a loved one has been accused of theft in College Station or Bryan, TX, contact The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. today at (979) 773-7028. Let a former prosecutor with three decades of experience protect your rights and freedom.