Theft / Larceny

Often referred to as larceny in other jurisdictions, unlawfully appropriating property with the intent to deprive an owner of the property constitutes the crime of theft in Texas. Theft, as defined in Texas Penal Code § 31.03, constitutes a single offense superseding the separate offenses previously known as theft, theft by false pretext, conversion by a bailee, theft from the person, shoplifting, acquisition of property by threat, swindling, swindling by worthless check, embezzlement, extortion, receiving or concealing embezzled property, and receiving or concealing stolen property.

The classification of theft crimes usually depends on the value of the property involved, but other factors such as the alleged offender’s prior convictions can also impact the criminal charges that person faces. Many people are accused of theft offenses as the result of misunderstandings, such as accidentally taking property or believing there was a legal ownership claim relating to the property.

Attorney for Theft / Larceny Arrests in Denton, TX

If you were arrested or think that you might be under investigation for an alleged theft crime in Denton County, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends clients accused of all kinds of theft offenses in Argyle, Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville, Little Elm, The Colony, and many surrounding areas of Denton County.

Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Denton who can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges reduced or dismissed. They can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call 940-222-8004 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of Theft / Larceny Crimes in Denton County


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Theft / Larceny Charges in Texas

Under Texas Penal Code § 31.03(a), a person commits the crime of theft if he or she unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property. Texas Penal Code § 31.03(e) establishes that theft offenses are classified as follows:

  • Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than $100;
  • Class B misdemeanorif:
    • the value of the property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750;
    • the value of the property stolen is less than $100 and the alleged offender has previously been convicted of any grade of theft; or
    • the property stolen is a driver's license, commercial driver's license, or personal identification certificate issued by this state or another state;
  • Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500;
  • State jail felonyif:
    • the value of the property stolen is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, or the property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $30,000;
    • regardless of value, the property is stolen from the person of another or from a human corpse or grave, including property that is a military grave marker;
    • the property stolen is a firearm, as defined by Section 46.01;
    • the value of the property stolen is less than $2,500 and the alleged offender has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft;
    • 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 is aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass;
  • Third-degree felony if the value of the property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or the property is:
    • cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl as defined by Agriculture Code § 142.001, stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000; or
    • 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000;
  • Second-degree felony if:
    • the value of the property stolen is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or
    • the value of the 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;
  • First-degree felony if the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more.

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Theft / Larceny Penalties in Denton County

The theft crimes listed above are generally punishable as follows:

  • Class C Misdemeanor — Fine of up to $500;
  • Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000;
  • Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000;
  • State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
  • Third Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
  • Second Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000; or
  • First Degree Felony — Minimum of five years up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Under Texas Penal Code § 31.03(e), any of the different theft offenses listed above can be increased to the next higher category of offense (Class C misdemeanor becomes a Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor becomes a state jail felony, etc.) if:

  • the alleged offender was a public servant at the time of the offense and the property appropriated came into the actor's custody, possession, or control by virtue of his status as a public servant;
  • the alleged offender was in a contractual relationship with government at the time of the offense and the property appropriated came into the actor's custody, possession, or control by virtue of the contractual relationship;
  • the owner of the property appropriated was at the time of the offense an elderly individual or nonprofit organization;
  • the alleged offender was a Medicare provider in a contractual relationship with the federal government at the time of the offense and the property appropriated came into the actor's custody, possession, or control by virtue of the contractual relationship; or
  • during the commission of the 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 the offense by a retail theft detector.

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Texas Resources for Theft / Larceny Offenses

Trace — Trace identifies itself as “the largest database of property reported stolen to America's law enforcement agencies.” The website has millions of serial numbers of stolen goods from thousands of police and associated agencies that can be searched for free to allow them to avoid buying stolen goods or to identify goods that are recovered. You can also register your property through this website.

Stolen 911 — Stolen 911 is a website that allows users to post pictures and descriptions of stolen property and share their listings on social media. Stolen items listed on the website are indexed by major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, and stolen property remains listed and searchable for one year. The website also has a custom Google Search that allows users to try and find their stolen property if it is listed on Craigslist in another area.


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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Theft / Larceny Defense Lawyer

Do you believe that you could be under investigation or were you already arrested anywhere in Denton County for an alleged theft crime? Do not say anything to authorities until you have contacted Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Denton criminal defense attorneys Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton represent individuals in communities throughout Denton County, including Argyle, The Colony, Little Elm, Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound, and many others. Call 940-222-8004 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


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A few months before I moved out of Texas, I was arrested for DWI. The problem was I was building a new life in another state with greater opportunities. I needed to find an attorney to handle my special situation being an out of state client who also travels out of the country. My case was in Denton County, which I have heard is a very difficult county to deal with. Because of my job I was in need of special accommodations from the court so I would not lose my career. After several months of tough negotiations with the DA, Richard and Brian were able to finalize my case beyond my expectations. I would highly recommend this law firm to anyone who has run into some trouble anywhere they might get a DWI.

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