Texas law defines theft as being when an individual “unlawfully appropriates property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.” Essentially, this means that you commit theft when you take something that doesn’t belong to you, with no consent or other justification for doing so, and at the time of the offense do not intend to return the stolen property to its owner.
Theft can be classified either as a misdemeanor or a felony in Texas. The difference depends on what property is stolen and the value of that property. Misdemeanors generally deal with the theft of property that has less financial value than thefts classified as felonies. The punishments for each type of theft differ significantly.
Misdemeanor theft charges in Texas range from Class A to Class C. Class A Misdemeanor theft is when someone steals property valued at $750 or more, but less than $2,500. This crime may result in a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to a year in county jail. Class B Misdemeanor theft is when someone steals property worth $100 or more, but less than $750. It may result in a fine up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days of county jail time. Class C Misdemeanor theft is when someone steals property worth less than $100. These charges may result in a fine of up to $500, but usually no jail time.
Felony theft is more serious than misdemeanor theft. In Texas, stealing property valued at $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000 is a state jail felony charge. This may result in state jail time between six months and two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. There are also classifications of felony theft that range from first through third degree charges.
First Degree Felony theft is when someone steals property worth $300,000 or more, but less than $200,000. This may result in Texas prison time of up to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Second Degree Felony theft is when someone steals property worth $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000. In Texas, this crime is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Third Degree Felony theft charges are levied when someone steals property valued at $30,000 or more, but less than $150,000. This crime may result in two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.
If theft charges have been levied against you in Texas, you may be able to fight them. An experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you when you are facing such charges. If you need an attorney in Austin, Texas or the surrounding area, the experienced and competent counsel at Erskine Law can help you. Austin criminal defense attorney Brian Erskine is a professional, board-certified lawyer with years of experience handling a wide variety of legal cases in Texas. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with theft, contact Brian Erskine at Erskine Law to discuss how he can help you reach the best possible outcome in your case.