What Acts are Considered Theft in Texas?

There are many different kinds of criminal theft charges in the state of Texas, but they all involve taking something without first obtaining permission from the owner. Illegally taking someone else’s property constitutes an act of moral turpitude and is punishable by imprisonment and financial penalties. One useful way of avoiding the establishment of a criminal record is to understand the various types of stealing that are commonly prosecuted in the state of Texas.

An act of theft doesn’t always involve illegally taking possession of tangible property. For instance, refusing to pay for a professional service after the service has already been delivered constitutes thieving. Consider the following kinds of theft under the law:


According to Chapter 31 of the Penal Code, shoplifting is a crime in Texas. The ultimate punishment for a shoplifting conviction in Texas will be determined by the value of the goods or services that were taken. While a Class C misdemeanor conviction is punishable by a fine of no more than $500, the alleged theft of goods or services with a total value of at least $1,500 can result in serious felony charges.

Burglary Crimes

Entering a building without the permission of the owner for the purpose of committing a felony or assault crime may be punishable by incarceration, a fine of no more than $10,000 and an order to pay restitution to the victim.


Robbery is more severe than other crimes that involve stealing. A robbery charge means that the victim was intentionally placed in danger that led to bodily injury or caused the victim to be fearful for their safety. Employing a weapon to intimidate a victim is punishable by a first degree felony and no less than five years in prison.

Theft of Services

The failure to reimburse someone for services rendered, including mechanics, plumbers and other trade professionals, is a crime. Failing to pay for professional services may result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the value of the work that was provided.

For more information on theft or property crimes in Texas, get in touch with a Houston defense lawyer at The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp at 713-868-6100.