By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
For the first time in 22 years, the Texas Legislature has adjusted the threshold values for theft cases to adjust for inflation. Theft is a result-oriented offense and the value of the property stolen typically dictates the punishment level. As of September 1, 2015, the amounts correlating to specific charges are as follows:
- Less than $100 is a Class C misdemeanor (formerly less than $50).
- $100 but less than $750 is a Class B misdemeanor (formerly between $50 and $500).
- $750 but less than $2,500 is a Class A misdemeanor (formerly between $500 and $1,500).
- $2,500 but less than $30,000 is a State Jail Felony (formerly between $1,500 and $20,000).
- $30,000 but less than $150,000 is a 3rd Degree Felony (formerly $20,000 to $100,000)
- $150,000 but less than $300,000 is a 2nd Degree Felony (formerly $200,000 to $300,000).
- $300,000 or greater is a 1st Degree Felony (formerly over $200,000).
You can read about the punishment levels here.
Though all the changes have some impact, the two areas I expect to see the most impact will be adjusting Class C thefts up to $100 because this will have the effect of making many more shoplifting incidents (those between $50 and $100) more easily expungable and taking them out of the County Courts at Law. Also significant is new difference between felony and Misdemeanor thefts (formerly $1,500 and now $2,500). This will keep many people under the felony threshold as well.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice for any situation you should contact an attorney directly.