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Criminal charges


A person commits the criminal offense (crime) of theft—also known as stealing—by unlawfully taking or appropriating the property of another person or entity with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.

Taking or appropriating property is generally unlawful if it is done without the owner's effective consent—for example, if the property was taken by threat, deception, or extortion.

In Texas, theft is defined under the Texas Penal Code Section 31.03 as unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. Appropriation is considered unlawful if it is without the owner's effective consent, which can be withheld due to deception, coercion, or if the property is stolen. The severity of the theft charge in Texas can range from a Class C misdemeanor for property valued under $100, to a first-degree felony for property valued at $300,000 or more, or if the property stolen is of a certain type or from a certain owner, such as livestock or from a nonprofit organization. Penalties for theft can include fines, restitution, and imprisonment, and the specific consequences depend on the value of the property stolen and the circumstances of the offense.

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