Theft Laws and Penalties in TX

You could face severe penalties if you get convicted of theft in Texas. Under the law, an individual has committed theft if they have unlawfully appropriated property intending to deprive the property owner of the stolen property. Put simply, theft means taking something that you don’t own, absent legal justification or proper consent from the owner, and without any intention of giving back the property you stole to its owner.

Theft Laws in TX

Broadly speaking, theft laws in Texas encompass a wide variety of unlawful conduct, such as stealing or receiving stolen property or services, swindling, extortion, and embezzlement. Apart from these offenses, other theft-related crimes include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Cargo theft
  • Theft by check
  • Taking packages off the porch
  • Organized retail theft
  • Trade secrets theft

Theft Penalties in TX

Penalties for theft in Texas are classified according to the stolen item’s value and vary from misdemeanors that are penalized with fines to serious felonies that can lead to lengthy prison sentences:

  • Up to $100 worth of property – A fine not exceeding $500. Class C misdemeanor.
  • Stolen ID or property worth $100 up to $750 – A fine not exceeding $2,000 and/or 180 days in jail. Class B misdemeanor.
  • Property worth $750 up to $2,500 or Theft from a person– A fine not exceeding $4,000 and/or up to a year in jail. Class A misdemeanor.
  • Property worth $2,500 up to $30,000 or the stolen property is cattle, certain metals like aluminum or copper, or a firearm worth $20,000 – A fine not exceeding $10,000 and 180 days to two years in state jail. State jail felony.
  • Property worth $30,000 up to $100,000 or the stolen property is livestock valued $150,000 – A fine not exceeding $10,000 and two up to 10 years in prison. Third-degree felony.
  • Property worth $150,000 up to $300,000 – A fine not exceeding $10,000 and two up to 20 years in prison. Second-degree felony.
  • Property worth $300,000 or more – A fine not exceeding $10,000 and five up to 99 years in prison. First-degree felony.

It’s likewise crucial to note that these penalties can be increased if the offender is of a certain special class, such as a government contractor, public servant, elderly, or Medicare provider, among others. The penalties for theft may also be increased if the offender had prior theft convictions.

In addition, individuals charged with theft may face civil actions from the theft victim under the Theft Liability Act. Besides paying a civil fine not exceeding $1,000, the accused individual may have to pay the victim damages for the stolen property. Also, under the act, the legal guardians or parents of a minor convicted of theft may be held liable for the damages, which are limited to $5,000 for every theft incident.

Talk to a Frisco, TX, Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The laws and penalties on theft in Texas can be confusing. If you’re facing a theft charge, reach out to the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, today. Contact us online or call 940-222-2488 to schedule your free case review with our Frisco, TX, criminal defense attorney.