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Misdemeanor Theft

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Misdemeanor theft is defined by the value of the property that is stolen. Misdemeanors generally do not carry prison terms, though they can and often do carry county jail terms and hefty fines. Whether or not a theft is classified as a misdemeanor depends upon the statutes of the state where the crime was committed. Here are some typical misdemeanor theft classifications, using Texas law as an example: 

The offense of theft includes

  • Theft of property
  • Theft of lost property
  • Theft of service
  • Receiving stolen property

Misdemeanor theft classifications

Theft is a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property or service is

  • Less than $50.00 or
  • Less than $20.00 if the property or service is obtained by check or electronic debit

Theft is a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property or service is

  • Greater than $50.00 but less than $500 or
  • Greater than $20.00 but less than $500.00 if the property or service is obtained by check or electronic debit or
  • Less than $50.00 if the defendant has a previous conviction of any grade of theft or
  • Less than $20.00 if the property or service is obtained by check or electronic debit and the defendant has a previous conviction of any type of theft.

Theft is a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property or service

  • Is more than $500.00 but less than $1,500.00

Anything over $1,500.00 is a felony theft offense and is punishable by felony jail time and fines.

Punishments for misdemeanor theft offenses

Class A misdemeanor is punished by

  • A fine up to $4,000
  • Up to one year in jail (not less than 90 days for habitual offenders)

Class B misdemeanors are punished by

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Up to 180 days in jail (not less than 30 days for habitual offenders)

Class C misdemeanors are punishable by

  • A fine of up to $500

For habitual offenders having more than 3 convictions in the 24 months preceding the crime, the punishment of a Class C theft misdemeanor will be enhanced to

  • Up to $2,000
  • Up to 180 days in jail

 

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