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Mail Theft

The Texas Mail Theft offense was created in the 86th Texas Legislative Session by HB 37. The offense will be effective on September 1, 2019. Learn more detailed information about the Mail Theft offense below.

*This is a new offense as of 2019. More detail will be added to this page as soon as it is available*

Concerned about Mail Theft in Texas? Call criminal defense lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

What is the law on Mail Theft in Texas?

As of September of 2019, Mail Theft is to be codified at Section 31.20 of the Texas Penal Code. Subsection (b) describes the offense as:

A person commits an offense if the person intentionally appropriates mail from another person’s mailbox or premises without the effective consent of the addressee and with the intent to deprive that addressee of the mail

What is the punishment range for Mail Theft?

The lowest classification for Mail Theft will be a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $4,000 fine, and will apply if the amount of stolen mail equals fewer than 10 addresses.1 It will be a a state jail felony if the mail is appropriated from at least 10 but fewer than 30 addressees.2 It will be a felony of the third degree if the mail is appropriated from 30 or more addressees.3

However, the offense may be enhanced if the appropriated mail contained an item of identifying information and you committed the offense with the intent to facilitate an offense under Section 32.51, and the enhancements are as follows:

  • (1) a state jail felony if the mail is appropriated from fewer than 10 addressees;4
  • (2) a felony of the third degree if the mail is appropriated from at least 10 but fewer than 20 addressees;5
  • (3) a felony of the second degree if the mail is appropriated from at least 20 but fewer than 50 addressees;6 or
  • (4) a felony of the first degree if the mail is appropriated from 50 or more addressees.7

And the offense can be further increased to the next higher category of offense if the state’s attorneys can convince a jury that you knew or had reason to believe that an addressee from whom the actor appropriated mail was a disabled individual or an elderly individual.8


Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §31.20(c)(1), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

2 Texas Penal Code §31.20(c)(2), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

3 Texas Penal Code §31.20(c)(3), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

4 Texas Penal Code §31.20(d)(1), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

5 Texas Penal Code §31.20(d)(2), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

6 Texas Penal Code §31.20(d)(3), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

7 Texas Penal Code §31.20(d)(4), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

8 Texas Penal Code §31.20(e), as passed by HB 37 in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session

Published by Criminal Defense Attorney on and last modified