Basically, we have seven levels, Class C Misdemeanor to First Degree Felony, based on the level of loss, with a few specific exceptions (e.g. the theft of a firearm, regardless of the value, is at least a State Jail Felony).
But looking at the levels, I noticed that they are sometimes not determined only by cash. I've highlighted it and I think it will bring you a smile. Enjoy.
Texas Penal Code, Section 31.03 - TheftYou really gotta appreciate a state that sets a crime level by heads of farm animal. Also, the point about medals I highlighted brings back a story from a DA from a few years back. Every session the members of the legislature prepare bills for consideration and the need to be vetted by the staff attorney's so they will fit. He made the point, "Next time you pick up someone for stealing a beer can, it's committing a 2nd Degree Felony..."
CHAPTER 31. THEFT
....Sec. 31.03. THEFT. (a) A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.
(b) Appropriation of property is unlawful if:
(1) it is without the owner's effective consent;
(2) the property is stolen and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
(3) property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another....
(e) Except as provided by Subsection (f), an offense under this section is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than $100;
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if:
(A) the value of the property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750;
(B) the value of the property stolen is less than $100 and the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of theft; or
(C) the property stolen is a driver's license, commercial driver's license, or personal identification certificate issued by this state or another state;
(3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500;
(4) a state jail felony if:
(A) 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;
(B) 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;
(C) the property stolen is a firearm, as defined by Section 46.01;
(D) the value of the property stolen is less than $2,500 and the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft;
(E) the property stolen is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election; or
(F) the value of the property stolen is less than $20,000 and the property stolen is:
(iii) copper; or
(5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, or the property is:
(A) cattle, horses, or exotic livestock or exotic fowl as defined by Section 142.001, Agriculture Code, stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000; or
(B) 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $150,000;
(6) a felony of the second degree if:
(A) the value of the property stolen is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000; or...
(7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more....
As he explained, the theft of the listed metals was meant to cover thefts from houses, AC units, etc. However, as it was written the act didn't exclude small amounts, like what you would have in a beer or Coke can. Stealing of a six pack of beer is a Class C Misdemeanor. But by the strict reading of the law, taking a can in and of itself is a State Jail Felony. However, at the time Texas was under a drought, and theft of medals in a drought area ups the charge one lever, in this matter makes it a Third Degree Felony. And finally, any theft of medal in a federally declared disaster area, like Harris County was at the time, it ups it one more, to a Second Degree Felony. So I could face 20 years plus...for a beer can!
And no, we never charged anyone with that, the DA would "decline to charge." for that.
Gotta love the law. Have a great day....and be careful of stealing sheep! :<)