Getting everything from cosmetics to household goods delivered to your front door in brown paper packages is a convenience that is difficult to overstate. The global pandemic we have been living through helps to put an even finer point on the matter. With all those packages piling up at front doors, however, comes the problem of porch pirates – those individuals who take it upon themselves to run up and grab other people’s packages from their front porches. If you think this sounds like a fairly harmless endeavor, you might want to think again, and an experienced Florence criminal defense attorney can fill you in on the serious legal consequences involved.
The State of Texas Specifically Addresses Package Theft
The State of Texas addresses the crime of package theft to the fullest extent possible, and toward this end, the Texas Penal Code has been amended to specifically address the issue. As such, the more packages involved in the alleged crime, the more serious the charge. And if you are discovered with controlled substances during the arrest process, it can obviously compound your legal troubles.
The Charge Basics
Consider the following charges related to stealing packages and/or pieces of mail – whether from a front porch or somewhere else:
If you are charged with stealing up to 10 packages and/or pieces of mail, you face a state jail felony, and if you are convicted, you will be looking at up to $10,000 in fines and up to 2 years in a state jail.
If you are charged with stealing more than 10 but fewer than 50 packages and/or pieces of mail, you face a third-degree felony, and if you are convicted, you will be looking at up to $10,000 in fines and up to 10 years behind bars.
If you are charged with stealing more than 50 packages and/or pieces of mail, you face a second-degree felony, and if you are convicted, you will be looking at fines of up to $10,000 and up to 20 years in prison.
Additionally, the value of the packages involved can increase the severity of the penalties you face.
The fact of the matter is that the United States Postal Service is a federal agency, which means that under certain conditions, you could also face federal charges. Charges involving the theft of any kind of U.S. mail are punishable by up to five years in federal prison. Ultimately, so-called porch piracy is a serious charge that requires serious legal attention from a skilled criminal defense attorney.