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Understanding the penalties for felony theft in Texas

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

People who intentionally steal from others can receive serious legal consequences. Texas law dictates that an individual commits a theft if he or she unlawfully takes something with the intent of depriving the owner of that property. The action is unlawful if someone steals or accepts already stolen property or if the item belongs to the owner and the person takes it without consent. 

Individuals facing felony theft charges in Texas should familiarize themselves with the state-mandated penalties before attending their court dates. 

Criminal penalties

Texas organizes theft offenses by the value of the service or property stolen. Firearms and livestock have different penalties. 

A State Jail felony is the penalty if the value of the services or property falls within $2,500 and $29,999. If the stolen property is a firearm or livestock, this is automatically the penalty. A State Jail penalty is punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and up to a $10,000 fine. 

If the value of the stolen property falls between $30,000 and $149,999 or it is livestock worth under $150,000, it is a Third-degree felony theft. A Third-degree felony is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and 2-10 years of imprisonment. 

If the stolen property is worth between $150,000 and $299,999, the theft is a Second-degree felony theft. The fine is also up to $10,000 and it is punishable by 2-20 years of imprisonment. 

If the stolen property is worth $300,000 or more, the theft is a First-Degree felony theft. It is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and punishable by 5-99 years of imprisonment. 

Civil liability

Civil penalties tack on to the criminal liability if the plaintiff files a civil lawsuit against the defendant. Texas requires the return of any stolen property and if that is unachievable, then the defendant reimburses the plaintiff for the value of the property along with a $1,000 civil penalty. 

Knowing the penalties for theft in Texas will help individuals understand what they face with their theft charges.