Common theft crimes include the taking and carrying away of property belonging to another person. Theft is done with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. In Texas, theft crimes include the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the property owner. 

How Do Prosecutors Determine Whether a Theft Charge is a Misdemeanor or Felony?

Texas classifies theft punishments according to the value of the stolen property or services, as well as the type of stolen property. Prosecutors may also rely on the property’s fair market or replacement value when determining the severity of the charge. 

What are the Punishment Classifications for Theft in Texas?

  • Class C Misdemeanor: Property valued under $100 and it is punished with a $500 fine.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Property valued between $100 and $750. It is punishable by no more than 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Property valued at more than $750 but less than $2,500. It is punishable by less than 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
  • State Jail Felony: Property valued at more than $2,500 but less than $30,000. It is punishable by 180 days in jail to two years in jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third Degree Felony: Property valued at more than $30,000 but less than $150,000. It is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree Felony: Property valued at more than $150,000 but less than $300,000. It is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • First Degree Felony: Property valued at more than $2300,000. It is punishable by 5 to 99 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. 

Is There a Punishment Enhancement for Theft in Texas?

Yes. If a defendant has a prior theft conviction, then the current charge could be upgraded. For example, a defendant with a prior conviction may have their class C misdemeanor crime become a Class B misdemeanor due to prior charges.

Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding My Theft Charge? 

Yes, contact a Texas criminal lawyer immediately about possible defenses to theft.