The term larceny describes a crime involving the unlawful taking of another party’s personal property, and larceny is known in the Texas Penal Code simply as theft. Theft crimes in Texas can range from misdemeanors to felony offenses, but all convictions can carry severe consequences, so people facing criminal charges will want to hire an experienced Fort Worth theft/larceny attorney.
A theft conviction can be considered a crime of moral turpitude, meaning that a conviction could lead to a person facing several additional problems beyond just having a criminal record. You might be ineligible for professional licensing, acceptance into certain colleges, or unable to apply for some jobs.
Theft / Larceny Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX
If you were recently arrested for any kind of theft offense, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defend clients against all levels of theft offenses. Contact us online for a consultation that will allow us to really examine the details of your case and outline your legal options.
Theft / Larceny Charges in Tarrant County
Texas Penal Code § 31.03 establishes that a person commits a theft offense when they unlawfully appropriate property with any kind of intent to deprive the owner of the property. Appropriation of property is considered unlawful if it is without an owner’s effective consent, the property is stolen, and an alleged offender appropriates the property knowing it was stolen, or the property was in the custody of any law enforcement agency and was explicitly represented by a law enforcement agent to an alleged offender as being stolen and an alleged offender appropriated the property believing it was stolen by another party.
Texas Penal Code § 31.03(c) establishes that evidence that an alleged offender has previously participated in other recent transactions similar to the theft offense on which prosecution is based can be admissible to show knowledge or intent and the issues of knowledge or intent can be raised by an alleged offender’s plea of not guilty, the testimony of an accomplice can be corroborated by proof tending to connect the alleged offender to the offense, but an alleged offender’s knowledge or intent can also be established by the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice, and an alleged offender who engages in some kind of business of buying and selling any kind of used or secondhand personal property, or lending money based on the security of personal property deposited with an alleged offender will be presumed to know upon receipt by an alleged offender of stolen property that property was previously stolen from another party when the alleged offender pays for or loans against the property $25 or more and an alleged offender knowingly or recklessly fails to record a name, address, and physical description or identification number for a seller or pledgor, fails to record some kind of complete description of the property, including a serial number when reasonably available, or some other kind of identifying characteristics, or fails to obtain a signed warranty from a seller or pledgor that a seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property.
An identification number is defined as a driver’s license number, military identification number, identification certificate, or other official number that is capable of identifying a person. Stolen property will not lose its character as stolen when it is recovered by any law enforcement agency, and an alleged offender who is engaged in obtaining abandoned or wrecked motor vehicles or parts of abandoned or wrecked motor vehicles for resale, disposal, scrap, repair, rebuilding, demolition, or other form of salvage can be presumed to know on receipt by an alleged offender of stolen property that property was previously stolen from another party if an alleged offender knowingly or recklessly fails to maintain some kind of accurate and legible inventory of every motor vehicle component part purchased by or delivered to an alleged offender, including any date of purchase or delivery, a name, age, address, sex, and driver’s license number of a seller or person making the delivery, the license plate number of a motor vehicle in which a part was delivered, a complete description of a part, and a vehicle identification number of a motor vehicle from which a part was removed, or instead of maintaining an inventory, fails to record the name and certificate of inventory number of a person who dismantles a motor vehicle from which they obtain a part, fails on the receipt of a motor vehicle to obtain a required certificate of authority, sales receipt, or transfer document, or a certificate of title that shows that a motor vehicle is not subject to any lien or that every recorded lien on a motor vehicle has been released, or fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to immediately remove any unexpired license plate from a motor vehicle, to keep a plate in a secure and locked place, or to maintain an inventory on forms that are provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, of license plates kept, including for every plate or set of plates a license plate number and the applicable make, motor number, and vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle from which any plate was removed.
Any alleged offender who purchases or receives a used or secondhand motor vehicle can be presumed to know upon receipt of the motor vehicle that the motor vehicle was previously stolen from another party if the alleged offender either knowingly or recklessly fails to report to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles the failure of any person selling or delivering a motor vehicle to an alleged offender to deliver to the alleged offender a properly executed certificate of title to a motor vehicle at the time a motor vehicle is delivered, or failing to appropriately file with a county tax assessor-collector of the county in which an alleged offender receives a motor vehicle, not later than 20 days after the date an alleged offender receives a motor vehicle, the registration license receipt and certificate of title or other evidence of a title delivered to an alleged offender in accordance with Subchapter D of Chapter 520 of the Texas Transportation Code, at the time a motor vehicle is delivered.
An alleged offender who purchases or receives any kind of restricted-use pesticide, state-limited-use pesticide, or a compound, mixture, or preparation that contains a restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide from any party other than a licensed retailer or distributor of pesticides will be presumed to know upon receipt by an alleged offender of the pesticide or mixture, compound, or preparation that the pesticide or mixture, compound, or preparation was previously stolen from another party if the alleged offender fails to record the seller or pledgor’s name, address, and physical description, fails to record a complete description of the amount and type of pesticide or mixture, compound, or preparation purchased or received, and fails to obtain some kind of signed warranty from a seller or pledgor that a seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property. An alleged offender who obtains livestock from a commission merchant by representing that an alleged offender will make prompt payment can be presumed to have induced the commission merchant’s consent by deception when the alleged offender fails to make full payment.
Texas Penal Code § 31.03(d) states that it will not be a defense to prosecution for a theft offense that the crime occurred because of a deception or strategy on the part of a law enforcement agency, including any use of undercover operatives or peace officers, a law enforcement agency provided an alleged offender with a facility in which to commit a theft offense or an opportunity to engage in some kind of conduct constituting a theft offense, or an alleged offender was solicited to commit the theft offense by a peace officer, and the solicitation was of a kind that would encourage a person predisposed to commit a theft offense to actually commit the theft offense, but would not encourage a person not predisposed to commit the offense to actually commit the theft offense.
A theft offense is classified as:
- a Class C misdemeanor when the value of property stolen is less than $100
- a Class B misdemeanor when the value of property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750, the value of stolen property is less than $100 and an alleged offender has previous convictions for any grade of theft offense, or the property stolen is a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license (CDL), or personal identification certificate issued by this state or another state
- a Class A misdemeanor when the value of property stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500
- a state jail felony when the value of property stolen is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats under the value of $30,000, the property, regardless of value, is stolen from the person of another party or from a human corpse or grave, including property that happens to be a military grave marker, the property stolen is a firearm, the value of property stolen is less than $2,500 and an alleged offender has two or more prior convictions for any kind of theft offense, the property stolen is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election, or the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen happens to be aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass
- a third-degree felony when the value of the property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or property stolen is cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl, and it is stolen during a single transaction while having an aggregate value of less than $150,000, 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000, or a controlled substance, with a value of less than $150,000, when it is stolen from a commercial building in which a controlled substance is generally stored, such as a pharmacy, clinic, hospital, nursing facility, or warehouse, or a vehicle owned or operated by a wholesale distributor of prescription drugs
- a second-degree felony when the value of property stolen is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000, or the value of property stolen is less than $300,000 and the property stolen is an automated teller machine (ATM) or the contents or components of an ATM
- a first-degree felony when the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more
A theft offense can be increased to the next higher category of offense when it is shown at trial that an alleged offender was a public servant at the time of a theft offense and the property appropriated came into an alleged offender’s custody, possession, or control by virtue of their status as some kind of public servant, an alleged offender was in some kind of contractual relationship with the government at the time of an alleged offense and the property appropriated came into an alleged offender’s custody, possession, or control by virtue of their contractual relationship, the owner of the appropriated property was at the time of an alleged offense an elderly person or nonprofit organization, the alleged offender was a Medicare provider in some kind of contractual relationship with the federal government at the time of an alleged offense and the property appropriated came into an alleged offender’s custody, possession, or control by virtue of their contractual relationship, or during the commission of an alleged offense, the alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused a fire exit alarm to sound or otherwise become activated, deactivated, or otherwise prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding, or used a shielding or deactivation instrument to prevent or attempt to prevent detection of an alleged offense by a retail theft detector.
Theft / Larceny Penalties in Tarrant County
Convictions for theft offenses are punishable as follows:
- Class C misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500
- Class B misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000
- Class A misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000
- State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000
Fort Worth, TX Theft / Larceny Resources
Tarrant County | Theft Intervention Program (TIP) — The Community Supervision Corrections Department (CSCD) may order an alleged offender to complete the Theft Intervention Program (TIP), which is a course that usually involves an eight-session program not including the intake and exit sessions. Some courses may fit all eight sessions into a single day. A TIP course must satisfy minimum requirements of being a total of 10 hours of counseling, a one-hour intake session, eight hours in a group setting, and one hour in an exit session, and can meet once a week for eight weeks or twice a week for four weeks.
Tarrant County Crime Stoppers — Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1976, and Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County utilizes information from anonymous tipsters to arrest felony offenders. Since its inception in 1982, Tarrant County Crime Stoppers has paid more than $3 million in rewards and recovered over $36.5 million in property and narcotics. Additionally, over 14,447 offenders have been arrested, and over 34,732 cases have been cleared.
Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Theft Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Were you recently arrested for a theft offense anywhere in Tarrant County? Do not wait another moment to seek legal help. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (817) 422-5350 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Southlake, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas of Tarrant County, TX area.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy knows how to defend people accused of theft crimes and may be able to negotiate a reduction in or complete dismissal of your criminal charges.