To commit larceny, a person must take property from another with the intention of keeping it. In Texas, it could also be considered theft if a person fails to provide proof the item they are selling was not stolen. The value or amount of property stolen does not have to be large to be convicted of larceny.
A prior criminal record will usually play a large role in a larceny case. If a person has been convicted of larceny twice, for example, they could be charged with a felony-level offense.
The criminal penalty for larceny depends on what the item or sum of money stolen was worth. Generally, it is classified as such:
- Class C misdemeanor: $50 or less;
- Class B misdemeanor: more than $50, but less than $500;
- Class A misdemeanor: more than $500, but less than $1,500;
- State jail felony: more than $1,500, but less than $20,0000;
- Third-degree felony: more than $20,000, but less than $100,000;
- Second-degree felony: more than $100,000, but less than $200,000;
- First-degree felony: $200,000 or more.
A person charged with larceny may face a civil penalty, in addition to a criminal penalty. A theft victim may be entitled to the recovery of stolen items by way of a monetary award.
A monetary award could be:
- damages caused by the theft (like the retail value of a stolen item if it wasn't returned in a sellable condition); or
- a penalty payment not exceeding $1,000.
If the perpetrator was a minor, the parent or guardian of the minor could be civilly liable to pay the monetary award to the victim. This award would be limited to the damages caused by the theft (not exceeding $5,000).
What Is Felony Theft in Texas?
In Texas, felony theft occurs when a person steals property or services worth at least $1,500, or steals specific types of property such as a firearm or specific livestock. The jail term ranges from 180 days to 99 years depending on if it's a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree felony.