Understanding Felony Theft in Texas

There are certain circumstances that convert a typical case of theft into felony theft, which is significantly more serious. These include:

  • The possession taken is valued at $2,500 or more
  • The offender has previous convictions for theft
  • The property is stolen from another individual, a grave, or a human corpse
  • The stolen possession is an election ballot, a firearm, certain metals, or certain livestock

In this blog, we’ll offer a closer look at the types of felony theft in Texas. We’ll also provide you with ways you can protect your freedom and rights.

1. State Jail Felony Theft

In Texas, this is considered the lowest degree of felony and involves property valued between $2,500 and $30,000. This also includes any property, no matter its value, that is taken directly from a person or grave or is a firearm; if you’ve been convicted of theft twice or more and the item stolen is worth $2,500 or less; and metal worth up to $20,000. Based on the nature of the crime, a state jail felony can be regarded as a first-, second-, or third-degree offense that results in heavy fines, incarceration, and a range of other penalties.

If you’re charged with state jail felony theft, you will be required to pay up to $10,000 in fines. You will also serve a jail sentence of between two and 99 years. We’ll break down the specific charges for these crimes in the upcoming section.

2. Third-Degree Felony Theft

If the stolen goods are valued between $30,000 and $150,000, the crime is categorized as third-degree felony theft. This includes taking sheep, goats, or pigs worth up to $150,000 or a controlled substance such as prescription drugs stolen from a vehicle or building that’s owned by an authorized manufacturer or distributor of the controlled substance. This charge is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 (as the earlier crimes) and a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years.

3. Second-Degree Felony Theft

If the stolen items are valued between $150,000 and $300,000, or it’s an ATM, its parts, or its contents, the individual is charged with second-degree felony theft. The fine is the same as above ($10,000). However, the prison sentence is much lighter: between two and 20 years.

4. First-Degree Felony Theft

As the most serious type of felony theft, first-degree felony theft is committed when the stolen items are valued at $300,000 or more. Offenders are required to pay a fine of up to $10,000 and serve a jail sentence between five and 99 years.

If you were recently charged with felony theft in Texas, reach out to an experienced, qualified, and diligent attorney as soon as possible. As one of the more experienced criminal defense lawyers in Texas, JL Carpenter should be your first call. She works closely with each client to help them get the most favorable outcome possible.

Contact her to get started. JL’s practice areas also include DWI, drug possession, domestic violence, and family violence, among others. She serves clients across Texas, including in Clear Lake, Friendswood, and Houston.

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