It’s possible to be charged with felony theft in Texas. The severity of a theft charge in the state is related to the value of the goods you are accused of stealing.
In Texas, a person can be charged with theft if they take property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. It may not always involve the direct taking of property. If you take property from someone else that you know was stolen, you may commit a larceny.
Failure to perform an affirmative act may also be a theft crime in Texas such as not turning over a properly executed certificate of title to a car.
Generally, if you steal goods or services worth more than $2,500 in Texas you can face a felony theft charge. The thresholds were updated two years ago.
Here are the sentencing classifications for theft in Texas.
Theft as a Class C Misdemeanor
The least serious form of theft in Texas occurs if the value of the property or services stolen is less than $100. The punishment for this offense is a fine of no more than $500. It does not involve jail time.
Class B Misdemeanor Theft
If the defendant is accused of stealing goods or services worth more than $100 but less than $750, the theft will be a Class B misdemeanor. The theft of a driver’s license or an identification card, is also charged as a class B misdemeanor. The punishment for this offense is a possible jail term of not more than 180 days and a fine not exceeding $2,000.
Class A Misdemeanor Theft
When the value of the property stolen is in the $750 to $2,500 range, the defendant could be jailed for up to a year and be fined up to $4,000.
Felony theft may occur if good or services worth at least $2,500 are stolen.
State Jail Felony
Theft becomes a state jail felony in Texas when the value or the property or services is more than $2,500 but under $30,000. Property of a certain type such as a gun or some forms of livestock valued at less than $20,00 fall into this category.
If you are charged with a state jail felony, you may be jailed for a range of 180 days to two years a state jail and receive a fine of up to $10,000.
Felony of the Third Degree Theft
When property or services stolen is valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or the property is of a specific type, such as livestock under $100,000 in value, you may be charged with a third-degree felony.
The punishment range is two to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
Felony of the Second Degree Theft
Stealing services or goods of a very high value is likely to incur a long term in prison. If the value of the items or services you stole is more than $150,00 but under $300,000, the punishment in Texas is two to 20 years’ incarceration. You can be fined up to $10,000.
Felony of the First Degree Theft
If the value of goods or services in the larceny exceeds $300,000, you may face the most serious theft felony on the statute books in Texas. The punishment for a felony of the first degree is five to 99 years in a prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Although Texas law requires a fairly high-value theft to be charged with a felony, you should not take this crime lightly.
We have represented clients in and around Austin who have been charged with a wide range of theft and larceny offenses. See our theft resources here or call us at (512) 359-3362.