Stealing someone's mail can now land you with a felony offense in Texas.
Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 37 into law, making mail theft punishments range between a class A misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
According to the bill, mail is defined as "a letter, postal card, package, bag or other sealed article that is delivered by a common carrier or delivery service and not yet received by the addressee; or has been left to be collected for delivery by a common carrier or delivery service."
Mail theft will be classified as a misdemeanor if the mail is taken from fewer than 10 addresses, and can be raised to a state jail felony if taken from more than 10 but fewer than 30.
The offense can even be raised to a third-degree felony if mail has been taken by more than 30 homes.
Mail theft with the intent to commit identity fraud, defined in section 32.51, carries a minimum of a state jail felony and a maximum of a felony in the first degree - but that's only in extreme cases.
This bill will take effect on Sept. 1.