Theft and Larceny: Don’t Find Yourself Behind Bars

By June 28, 2016Theft Crimes

The Old Chiayi Prison, Prison Cell, Chiayi City (Taiwan) 03

As in most states, Texas categorizes theft cases according to the calculated value of the property that has been stolen.

According to the Texas Penal Code 31.03, those who commit theft under Texas law are said to have “unlawfully appropriated property with the intent to deprive the legitimate owner of the property”.  This means that anyone who is accused of theft is believed to have taken property that does not belong to them without consent or any other legal justification, and that they had no intention of returning said property.  Cases of theft are also classified in Texas according to the kind of property stolen, and someone convicted of any of these may also face civil penalties.  It is of the utmost importance that a defendant fights theft and larceny charges in Texas with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

State Jail Felony Theft

In Texas, theft is a state jail felony if the value of the stolen property is greater than $1,500 and less than $20,000. (§ 31.03(e)(4).) The penalty for a state jail felony is 180 days to two years in a state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. (§ 12.35.)

3rd Degree Felony Theft

A 3rd-degree felony theft is theft of property valued between $20,000 and $100,000. (§ 31.03(e)(5).) The punishment for a 3rd-degree felony in Texas is two to ten years’ incarceration in the Texas Criminal Justice Dept. and a fine of up to $10,000. (§ 12.34.)

2nd Degree Felony Theft

A 2nd-degree felony in Texas concerns the theft of property valued between $100,000 and $200,000. (§ 31.03(e)(6).) The penalty for a 2nd-degree felony in Texas is two to 20 years’ incarceration in the Texas Criminal Justice Department and a fine of up to $10,000. (§ 12.33.)

1st Degree Felony Theft

First-degree felony theft in the state of Texas concerns the theft of property or services valued at $200,000 or more. (§ 31.03(e)(7).) The punishment for a 1st-degree felony in Texas is imprisonment for five to 99 years in the Texas Criminal Justice Dept., and a fine not to exceed $10.000. (§ 12.32.)

Civil Penalties in Texas for Theft

On top of criminal penalties that persons accused of theft may face, those convicted of theft in Texas may also face civil liability to the victim of the theft under Texas’ Theft Liability Act. The victim of the theft (i.e. the homeowner owner in a burglary case) may seek the recovery of damages as a monetary award to include: actual damages resulting from the theft (as in the appreciable retail value of the stolen item/s if they are not returned in a re-marketable condition), and an award not to exceed $1,000.

In cases where the perpetrator is an underage minor, the parent or legal guardian of the minor may also face civil liability in court, according to the Texas Theft Liability Act. The amount of monetary compensation victims can receive is limited by the value of the property stolen and may not exceed $5,000.

If you have been charged with theft, you should contact The Hampton Law Firm immediately to receive your free consultation. At Hampton Law, you can expect an experienced and aggressive criminal defense team that will carefully analyze your case and discover all of the possible defenses that are available to you under Texas state law.

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