A Look at Theft Prosecution in Texas

A Look at Theft Prosecution in Texas

Many people only see crime through the view of their television screens on the local news, but for some it’s the life they live. Theft is a common crime through The United States with each state having different punishments than others. Most people have little idea the criminal penalties that may be given when a criminal is being charged with Theft in Texas. If you or someone you know is facing Theft charges, it may be a good idea to research and understand what each penalty means for the criminal.

Theft Convictions & Texas Law

There are many different penalties for Theft in Texas, and one doesn’t have to be a theft crimes lawyer like Paul Morgan to understand them. The penalties are listed below.

Class C Misdemeanor Theft

Theft is a Class C Misdemeanor if the value of the  item(s) that have been stolen is less than $50 (Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 31.03(e)(1)(A).) Such class of Theft is punishable with a fine of no more than five hundred dollars and includes no prison time. This is the most mild penalty one could receive for Theft in the State of Texas.

Class B Misdemeanor Theft

In Texas, Theft is considered a class B misdemeanor if the property stolen is valued at more than $50 but less than $500. This is also true if the item that has been stolen is an ID card or driver’s license. (§ 31.03(e)(2).) The penalty for this crime in Texas is a prison term of no more than 180 days or a fine of no more than $2,000 or both.

Class A Misdemeanor Theft

Theft is considered to be a class A misdemeanor in Texas if the item(s) that have been taken are $500 or more but less than $1,500. (§ 31.03(e)(3).) This class of misdemeanor is punishable by a prison sentence of no more than one year or a fine of no more than $4,000 or both.

State Prison Felony Theft

Theft is considered a State Prison Felony Theft if the property that has been stolen is worth more than one thousand five hundred dollars but less than twenty thousand dollars. This is also true if the property that has been stolen is a specialized item, such as a firearm or livestock that had been valued at less than $20,000. (§ 31.03(e)(4).) The penalty for such a crime in Texas is a prison sentence ranging from 180 days to two years in a State prison as well as a fine of no more than $10,000.

Third Degree Felony Theft

Theft is considered a third degree Felony in the state of  Texas if the value of the pilfered item(s) is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000. This is also true if the property is of a certain type such as farm animals valued at less than $100,000. (§ 31.03(e)(5).) The penalty for this crime is a prison sentence of two to ten years as well as a fine of no more than $10,000.

Second Degree Felony Theft

Theft is considered a second degree Felony in Texas if the property which has been thieved is more than $100,000 but less than $200,000. (§ 31.03(e)(6).) The penalty for such a crime is a prison sentence of two to twenty years and a fine of no more than $10,000.

First Degree Felony Theft

Theft is considered a first degree Felony in Texas if the property pilfered has been valued at $200,000 or more. (§ 31.03(e)(7).) This is punishable with a prison sentence of five to ninety-nine years and a fine of no more than $10,000.

While the penalties listed above are the current criminal penalties for Theft in Texas, one should remember that there are also civil penalties, including possibly penalties for a parent or guardian of a minor who commits Theft. However, this is a monetary liability punishable with monetary recovery capped at $5,000. (§ 134.005.) One should remember that Theft is considered a serious crime and is therefore taken seriously in court. If you or someone you know has been accused of Theft it is very important to hire an attorney to guarantee the best possible outcome for the crime that has been accused of the defendant.