Importantly, under Texas law, it is not required that you actually keep the goods that you stole; you only have to keep it long enough to deprive the owner of its value. If for example, you take your neighbor’s generator without permission during a power outage and return it afterward, you have deprived your neighbor of the generator’s value during the power outage. You can be charged with theft even though you returned the item.
Punishment for Theft
In Texas, the punishment for theft is based on the value of the goods or services that were allegedly stolen. It ranges from a Class B misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000 to a first-degree felony, with a punishment of between 5 and 99 years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. You may also face a civil lawsuit from the person or company who you stole from if you are convicted of theft.