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Defining theft in the state of Texas

In the state of Texas, theft is defined as taking property coupled with an intent to deprive its true owner of it. An individual may also commit theft when he or she takes something from another person that is known to be stolen. A theft may be committed regardless of the value of the item that is taken, but the actual charge against a person may vary depending on at item's value.

For instance, if the value of a stolen item is $50 or less, it will be considered a Class C misdemeanor that carries a fine of up $500. If the value of the item is $200,000 or more, it will be considered to be a first degree felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The penalty for stealing items that are worth at least $1,500 but less than $20,000 may be time in a state jail.

There are several defenses to a theft charge in the state of Texas. While not necessarily a defense in itself, being a minor may reduce the severity of the charge that a person may face. If there was no intent on the part of a defendant to steal an item, it may not possible to prove that theft occurred.

A theft charge may bring serious consequences if convicted, including incarceration and restitution. However, an attorney may be able to create a defense to the charge. For example, it may be possible to maintain that there was no intent to steal an item as it had been paid for or taken with the permission of its owner.

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