Theft– it goes by different names or terms: shoplifting, retail theft, stolen goods, appropriated property, auto theft, grand theft auto, credit card theft, etc. The State of Texas takes a fairly simply approach to theft-related crimes. Instead of having several different names for different types of theft (like some states), Texas just uses the term “theft.”
Texas’ theft statutes are found under Title 7, Chapter 31, Theft, of the Texas Penal Code. Simply put, the punishments for theft in Texas all come down to the value of goods stolen without the property owner’s consent.
The elements of theft include:
- You unlawfully appropriated someone else’s property.
- You took the property without the owner’s consent.
- When you took the property, you intended to permanently deprive the owner of their property.
While most people are fully aware that it’s wrong to steal or borrow something without the owner’s consent, a lot of Texans are not familiar with the laws pertaining to theft in Texas, let alone the penalties involved.
In an effort to shed some light on the matter, we’re going to provide a brief explanation of Texas’ theft laws.
Misdemeanor & Felony Theft Offenses
For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on theft of property. In Texas, theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property stolen.
- Theft is a Class C misdemeanor if the property stolen is worth less than $100.
- If the value of the property stolen is worth $100 or more, but less than $750, it’s a Class B misdemeanor.
- Theft is a Class A misdemeanor if the goods stolen is worth $750 or more, but less than $2,500.
- Theft is a state jail felony if the property stolen is worth $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000.
- Theft is a felony of the third degree if the property stolen is worth $30,000 or more, but does not exceed $150,000.
- It is a second degree felony if the property stolen is worth $150,000, but does not exceed $300,000.
- Theft is a felony of the first degree if the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more.
If the property stolen is valued at more than $150,000, the penalties increase from there. Theft can also be charged as a second or first-degree felony depending on the value of property stolen. For an easy-to-understand breakdown of the fines and sentencing for misdemeanors and felonies in Texas, click here.
Felony punishment involves 6 months imprisonment to life behind bars, with fines up to $10,000 under the Texas Penal Code.
If you are facing theft charges in Plano or Dallas, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, for an aggressive defense!