PENAL CODE


TITLE 7. OFFENSES AGAINST PROPERTY


CHAPTER 31. THEFT


Sec. 31.01. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:

(1) "Deception" means:

(A) creating or confirming by words or conduct a false impression of law or fact that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction, and that the actor does not believe to be true;

(B) failing to correct a false impression of law or fact that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction, that the actor previously created or confirmed by words or conduct, and that the actor does not now believe to be true;

(C) preventing another from acquiring information likely to affect his judgment in the transaction;

(D) selling or otherwise transferring or encumbering property without disclosing a lien, security interest, adverse claim, or other legal impediment to the enjoyment of the property, whether the lien, security interest, claim, or impediment is or is not valid, or is or is not a matter of official record; or

(E) promising performance that is likely to affect the judgment of another in the transaction and that the actor does not intend to perform or knows will not be performed, except that failure to perform the promise in issue without other evidence of intent or knowledge is not sufficient proof that the actor did not intend to perform or knew the promise would not be performed.

(2) "Deprive" means:

(A) to withhold property from the owner permanently or for so extended a period of time that a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property is lost to the owner;

(B) to restore property only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or

(C) to dispose of property in a manner that makes recovery of the property by the owner unlikely.

(3) "Effective consent" includes consent by a person legally authorized to act for the owner. Consent is not effective if:

(A) induced by deception or coercion;

(B) given by a person the actor knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner;

(C) given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or intoxication is known by the actor to be unable to make reasonable property dispositions;

(D) given solely to detect the commission of an offense; or

(E) given by a person who by reason of advanced age is known by the actor to have a diminished capacity to make informed and rational decisions about the reasonable disposition of property.

(4) "Appropriate" means:

(A) to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of title to or other nonpossessory interest in property, whether to the actor or another; or

(B) to acquire or otherwise exercise control over property other than real property.

(5) "Property" means:

(A) real property;

(B) tangible or intangible personal property including anything severed from land; or

(C) a document, including money, that represents or embodies anything of value.

(6) "Service" includes:

(A) labor and professional service;

(B) telecommunication, public utility, or transportation service;

(C) lodging, restaurant service, and entertainment; and

(D) the supply of a motor vehicle or other property for use.

(7) "Steal" means to acquire property or service by theft.

(8) "Certificate of title" has the meaning assigned by Section 501.002, Transportation Code.

(9) "Used or secondhand motor vehicle" means a used motor vehicle, as that term is defined by Section 501.002, Transportation Code.

(10) "Elderly individual" has the meaning assigned by Section 22.04(c).

(11) "Retail merchandise" means one or more items of tangible personal property displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale in a retail establishment.

(12) "Retail theft detector" means an electrical, mechanical, electronic, or magnetic device used to prevent or detect shoplifting and includes any article or component part essential to the proper operation of the device.

(13) "Shielding or deactivation instrument" means any item or tool designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of preventing the detection of stolen merchandise by a retail theft detector. The term includes a metal-lined or foil-lined shopping bag and any item used to remove a security tag affixed to retail merchandise.

(14) "Fire exit alarm" has the meaning assigned by Section 793.001, Health and Safety Code.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 914, ch. 342, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 901, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.237, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 432, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323 (H.B. 2482), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 31.02. CONSOLIDATION OF THEFT OFFENSES. Theft as defined in Section 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.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

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.

(c) For purposes of Subsection (b):

(1) evidence that the actor has previously participated in recent transactions other than, but similar to, that which the prosecution is based is admissible for the purpose of showing knowledge or intent and the issues of knowledge or intent are raised by the actor's plea of not guilty;

(2) the testimony of an accomplice shall be corroborated by proof that tends to connect the actor to the crime, but the actor's knowledge or intent may be established by the uncorroborated testimony of the accomplice;

(3) an actor engaged in the business of buying and selling used or secondhand personal property, or lending money on the security of personal property deposited with the actor, is presumed to know upon receipt by the actor of stolen property (other than a motor vehicle subject to Chapter 501, Transportation Code) that the property has been previously stolen from another if the actor pays for or loans against the property $25 or more (or consideration of equivalent value) and the actor knowingly or recklessly:

(A) fails to record the name, address, and physical description or identification number of the seller or pledgor;

(B) fails to record a complete description of the property, including the serial number, if reasonably available, or other identifying characteristics; or

(C) fails to obtain a signed warranty from the seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property. It is the express intent of this provision that the presumption arises unless the actor complies with each of the numbered requirements;

(4) for the purposes of Subdivision (3)(A), "identification number" means driver's license number, military identification number, identification certificate, or other official number capable of identifying an individual;

(5) stolen property does not lose its character as stolen when recovered by any law enforcement agency;

(6) an actor engaged in the business of obtaining abandoned or wrecked motor vehicles or parts of an abandoned or wrecked motor vehicle for resale, disposal, scrap, repair, rebuilding, demolition, or other form of salvage is presumed to know on receipt by the actor of stolen property that the property has been previously stolen from another if the actor knowingly or recklessly:

(A) fails to maintain an accurate and legible inventory of each motor vehicle component part purchased by or delivered to the actor, including the date of purchase or delivery, the name, age, address, sex, and driver's license number of the seller or person making the delivery, the license plate number of the motor vehicle in which the part was delivered, a complete description of the part, and the vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle from which the part was removed, or in lieu of maintaining an inventory, fails to record the name and certificate of inventory number of the person who dismantled the motor vehicle from which the part was obtained;

(B) fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to obtain a certificate of authority, sales receipt, or transfer document as required by Chapter 683, Transportation Code, or a certificate of title showing that the motor vehicle is not subject to a lien or that all recorded liens on the motor vehicle have been released; or

(C) fails on receipt of a motor vehicle to immediately remove an unexpired license plate from the motor vehicle, to keep the plate in a secure and locked place, or to maintain an inventory, on forms provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, of license plates kept under this paragraph, including for each plate or set of plates the license plate number and the make, motor number, and vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle from which the plate was removed;

(7) an actor who purchases or receives a used or secondhand motor vehicle is presumed to know on receipt by the actor of the motor vehicle that the motor vehicle has been previously stolen from another if the actor knowingly or recklessly:

(A) fails to report to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles the failure of the person who sold or delivered the motor vehicle to the actor to deliver to the actor a properly executed certificate of title to the motor vehicle at the time the motor vehicle was delivered; or

(B) fails to file with the county tax assessor-collector of the county in which the actor received the motor vehicle, not later than the 20th day after the date the actor received the motor vehicle, the registration license receipt and certificate of title or evidence of title delivered to the actor in accordance with Subchapter D, Chapter 520, Transportation Code, at the time the motor vehicle was delivered;

(8) an actor who purchases or receives from any source other than a licensed retailer or distributor of pesticides a restricted-use pesticide or a state-limited-use pesticide or a compound, mixture, or preparation containing a restricted-use or state-limited-use pesticide is presumed to know on receipt by the actor of the pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation that the pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation has been previously stolen from another if the actor:

(A) fails to record the name, address, and physical description of the seller or pledgor;

(B) fails to record a complete description of the amount and type of pesticide or compound, mixture, or preparation purchased or received; and

(C) fails to obtain a signed warranty from the seller or pledgor that the seller or pledgor has the right to possess the property; and

(9) an actor who is subject to Section 409, Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. Section 228b), that obtains livestock from a commission merchant by representing that the actor will make prompt payment is presumed to have induced the commission merchant's consent by deception if the actor fails to make full payment in accordance with Section 409, Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. Section 228b).

(d) It is not a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the offense occurred as a result of a deception or strategy on the part of a law enforcement agency, including the use of an undercover operative or peace officer;

(2) the actor was provided by a law enforcement agency with a facility in which to commit the offense or an opportunity to engage in conduct constituting the offense; or

(3) the actor was solicited to commit the offense by a peace officer, and the solicitation was of a type that would encourage a person predisposed to commit the offense to actually commit the offense, but would not encourage a person not predisposed to commit the offense to actually commit the offense.

(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:

(A) $50; or

(B) $20 and the defendant obtained the property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order in a manner described by Section 31.06;

(2) a Class B misdemeanor if:

(A) the value of the property stolen is:

(i) $50 or more but less than $500; or

(ii) $20 or more but less than $500 and the defendant obtained the property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order in a manner described by Section 31.06;

(B) the value of the property stolen is less than:

(i) $50 and the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of theft; or

(ii) $20, the defendant has previously been convicted of any grade of theft, and the defendant obtained the property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order in a manner described by Section 31.06; 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 $500 or more but less than $1,500;

(4) a state jail felony if:

(A) the value of the property stolen is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, or the property is less than 10 head of sheep, swine, or goats or any part thereof under the value of $20,000;

(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 $1,500 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:

(i) aluminum;

(ii) bronze;

(iii) copper; or

(iv) brass;

(5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the property stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000, 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 $100,000; or

(B) 10 or more head of sheep, swine, or goats stolen during a single transaction and having an aggregate value of less than $100,000;

(6) a felony of the second degree if:

(A) the value of the property stolen is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or

(B) the value of the property stolen is less than $200,000 and the property stolen is an automated teller machine or the contents or components of an automated teller machine; or

(7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the property stolen is $200,000 or more.

(f) An offense described for purposes of punishment by Subsections (e)(1)-(6) is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:

(1) the actor 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;

(2) the actor 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;

(3) the owner of the property appropriated was at the time of the offense:

(A) an elderly individual; or

(B) a nonprofit organization;

(4) the actor 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

(5) during the commission of the offense, the actor intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(A) caused a fire exit alarm to sound or otherwise become activated;

(B) deactivated or otherwise prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding; or

(C) used a shielding or deactivation instrument to prevent or attempt to prevent detection of the offense by a retail theft detector.

(g) For the purposes of Subsection (a), a person is the owner of exotic livestock or exotic fowl as defined by Section 142.001, Agriculture Code, only if the person qualifies to claim the animal under Section 142.0021, Agriculture Code, if the animal is an estray.

(h) In this section:

(1) "Restricted-use pesticide" means a pesticide classified as a restricted-use pesticide by the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under 7 U.S.C. Section 136a, as that law existed on January 1, 1995, and containing an active ingredient listed in the federal regulations adopted under that law (40 C.F.R. Section 152.175) and in effect on that date.

(2) "State-limited-use pesticide" means a pesticide classified as a state-limited-use pesticide by the Department of Agriculture under Section 76.003, Agriculture Code, as that section existed on January 1, 1995, and containing an active ingredient listed in the rules adopted under that section (4 TAC Section 7.24) as that section existed on that date.

(3) "Nonprofit organization" means an organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, by being described as an exempt organization by Section 501(c)(3) of that code.

(4) "Automated teller machine" means an unstaffed electronic information processing device that, at the request of a user, performs a financial transaction through the direct transmission of electronic impulses to a financial institution or through the recording of electronic impulses or other indicia of a transaction for delayed transmission to a financial institution. The term includes an automated banking machine.

(i) For purposes of Subsection (c)(9), "livestock" and "commission merchant" have the meanings assigned by Section 147.001, Agriculture Code.

(j) With the consent of the appropriate local county or district attorney, the attorney general has concurrent jurisdiction with that consenting local prosecutor to prosecute an offense under this section that involves the state Medicaid program.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1975, 64th Leg., p. 914, ch. 342, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1975; Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 937, ch. 349, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 849, ch. 298, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 2065, ch. 455, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 1981; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2918, ch. 497, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3244, ch. 558, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4523, ch. 741, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 599, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 901, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1985; Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 167, Sec. 5.01(a)(45), eff. Sept. 1, 1987; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 245, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 724, Sec. 2, 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 14, Sec. 284(80), eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 203, Sec. 4, 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1993; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 734, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 843, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.238, 31.01(69), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1153, Sec. 7.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1276, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 198, Sec. 2.136, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 257, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 393, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 432, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 304 (H.B. 1766), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 70 (H.B. 1282), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 105 (H.B. 1466), Sec. 1, eff. May 23, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 139 (S.B. 1163), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 295 (H.B. 348), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 903 (H.B. 671), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 903 (H.B. 671), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933 (H.B. 3097), Sec. 3J.01, eff. September 1, 2009.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 120 (S.B. 887), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 120 (S.B. 887), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323 (H.B. 2482), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1234 (S.B. 694), Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 31.04. THEFT OF SERVICE. (a) A person commits theft of service if, with intent to avoid payment for service that the actor knows is provided only for compensation:

(1) the actor intentionally or knowingly secures performance of the service by deception, threat, or false token;

(2) having control over the disposition of services of another to which the actor is not entitled, the actor intentionally or knowingly diverts the other's services to the actor's own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to the services;

(3) having control of personal property under a written rental agreement, the actor holds the property beyond the expiration of the rental period without the effective consent of the owner of the property, thereby depriving the owner of the property of its use in further rentals; or

(4) the actor intentionally or knowingly secures the performance of the service by agreeing to provide compensation and, after the service is rendered, fails to make full payment after receiving notice demanding payment.

(b) For purposes of this section, intent to avoid payment is presumed if:

(1) the actor absconded without paying for the service or expressly refused to pay for the service in circumstances where payment is ordinarily made immediately upon rendering of the service, as in hotels, campgrounds, recreational vehicle parks, restaurants, and comparable establishments;

(2) the actor failed to make payment under a service agreement within 10 days after receiving notice demanding payment;

(3) the actor returns property held under a rental agreement after the expiration of the rental agreement and fails to pay the applicable rental charge for the property within 10 days after the date on which the actor received notice demanding payment; or

(4) the actor failed to return the property held under a rental agreement:

(A) within five days after receiving notice demanding return, if the property is valued at less than $1,500; or

(B) within three days after receiving notice demanding return, if the property is valued at $1,500 or more.

(c) For purposes of Subsections (a)(4), (b)(2), and (b)(4), notice shall be notice in writing, sent by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested or by telegram with report of delivery requested, and addressed to the actor at his address shown on the rental agreement or service agreement.

(d) If written notice is given in accordance with Subsection (c), it is presumed that the notice was received no later than five days after it was sent.

(d-1) For purposes of Subsection (a)(4):

(1) if the compensation is or was to be paid on a periodic basis, the intent to avoid payment for a service may be formed at any time during or before a pay period; and

(2) the partial payment of wages alone is not sufficient evidence to negate the actor's intent to avoid payment for a service.

(e) An offense under this section is:

(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the service stolen is less than $20;

(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the service stolen is $20 or more but less than $500;

(3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the service stolen is $500 or more but less than $1,500;

(4) a state jail felony if the value of the service stolen is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;

(5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the service stolen is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000;

(6) a felony of the second degree if the value of the service stolen is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or

(7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the service stolen is $200,000 or more.

(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, any police or other report of stolen vehicles by a political subdivision of this state shall include on the report any rental vehicles whose renters have been shown to such reporting agency to be in violation of Subsection (b)(2) and shall indicate that the renting agency has complied with the notice requirements demanding return as provided in this section.

(g) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) the defendant secured the performance of the service by giving a post-dated check or similar sight order to the person performing the service; and

(2) the person performing the service or any other person presented the check or sight order for payment before the date on the check or sight order.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 1138, ch. 429, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 29, 1977; Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2920, ch. 497, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 479, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 843, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1245, Sec. 1, 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 419, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 141 (S.B. 1024), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 31.05. THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS. (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Article" means any object, material, device, or substance or any copy thereof, including a writing, recording, drawing, sample, specimen, prototype, model, photograph, microorganism, blueprint, or map.

(2) "Copy" means a facsimile, replica, photograph, or other reproduction of an article or a note, drawing, or sketch made of or from an article.

(3) "Representing" means describing, depicting, containing, constituting, reflecting, or recording.

(4) "Trade secret" means the whole or any part of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula, or improvement that has value and that the owner has taken measures to prevent from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access for limited purposes.

(b) A person commits an offense if, without the owner's effective consent, he knowingly:

(1) steals a trade secret;

(2) makes a copy of an article representing a trade secret; or

(3) communicates or transmits a trade secret.

(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 31.06. PRESUMPTION FOR THEFT BY CHECK OR SIMILAR SIGHT ORDER. (a) If the actor obtained property or secured performance of service by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, when the issuer did not have sufficient funds in or on deposit with the bank or other drawee for the payment in full of the check or order as well as all other checks or orders then outstanding, it is prima facie evidence of the issuer's intent to deprive the owner of property under Section 31.03 (Theft) including a drawee or third-party holder in due course who negotiated the check or order or to avoid payment for service under Section 31.04 (Theft of Service) (except in the case of a postdated check or order) if:

(1) the issuer had no account with the bank or other drawee at the time the issuer issued the check or sight order; or

(2) payment was refused by the bank or other drawee for lack of funds or insufficient funds, on presentation within 30 days after issue, and the issuer failed to pay the holder in full within 10 days after receiving notice of that refusal.

(b) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2) or (f)(3), notice may be actual notice or notice in writing that:

(1) is sent by:

(A) first class mail, evidenced by an affidavit of service; or

(B) registered or certified mail with return receipt requested;

(2) is addressed to the issuer at the issuer's address shown on:

(A) the check or order;

(B) the records of the bank or other drawee; or

(C) the records of the person to whom the check or order has been issued or passed; and

(3) contains the following statement:

"This is a demand for payment in full for a check or order not paid because of a lack of funds or insufficient funds. If you fail to make payment in full within 10 days after the date of receipt of this notice, the failure to pay creates a presumption for committing an offense, and this matter may be referred for criminal prosecution."

(c) If written notice is given in accordance with Subsection (b), it is presumed that the notice was received no later than five days after it was sent.

(d) Nothing in this section prevents the prosecution from establishing the requisite intent by direct evidence.

(e) Partial restitution does not preclude the presumption of the requisite intent under this section.

(f) If the actor obtained property by issuing or passing a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, the actor's intent to deprive the owner of the property under Section 31.03 (Theft) is presumed, except in the case of a postdated check or order, if:

(1) the actor ordered the bank or other drawee to stop payment on the check or order;

(2) the bank or drawee refused payment to the holder on presentation of the check or order within 30 days after issue;

(3) the owner gave the actor notice of the refusal of payment and made a demand to the actor for payment or return of the property; and

(4) the actor failed to:

(A) pay the holder within 10 days after receiving the demand for payment; or

(B) return the property to the owner within 10 days after receiving the demand for return of the property.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 543, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 753, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 976 (S.B. 548), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 128 (S.B. 821), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2013.

Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 128 (S.B. 821), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2013.

Sec. 31.07. UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly operates another's boat, airplane, or motor-propelled vehicle without the effective consent of the owner.

(b) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 31.08. VALUE. (a) Subject to the additional criteria of Subsections (b) and (c), value under this chapter is:

(1) the fair market value of the property or service at the time and place of the offense; or

(2) if the fair market value of the property cannot be ascertained, the cost of replacing the property within a reasonable time after the theft.

(b) The value of documents, other than those having a readily ascertainable market value, is:

(1) the amount due and collectible at maturity less that part which has been satisfied, if the document constitutes evidence of a debt; or

(2) the greatest amount of economic loss that the owner might reasonably suffer by virtue of loss of the document, if the document is other than evidence of a debt.

(c) If property or service has value that cannot be reasonably ascertained by the criteria set forth in Subsections (a) and (b), the property or service is deemed to have a value of $500 or more but less than $1,500.

(d) If the actor proves by a preponderance of the evidence that he gave consideration for or had a legal interest in the property or service stolen, the amount of the consideration or the value of the interest so proven shall be deducted from the value of the property or service ascertained under Subsection (a), (b), or (c) to determine value for purposes of this chapter.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 2920, ch. 497, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 31.09. AGGREGATION OF AMOUNTS INVOLVED IN THEFT. When amounts are obtained in violation of this chapter pursuant to one scheme or continuing course of conduct, whether from the same or several sources, the conduct may be considered as one offense and the amounts aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 31.10. ACTOR'S INTEREST IN PROPERTY. It is no defense to prosecution under this chapter that the actor has an interest in the property or service stolen if another person has the right of exclusive possession of the property.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

Sec. 31.11. TAMPERING WITH IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) knowingly or intentionally removes, alters, or obliterates the serial number or other permanent identification marking on tangible personal property; or

(2) possesses, sells, or offers for sale tangible personal property and:

(A) the actor knows that the serial number or other permanent identification marking has been removed, altered, or obliterated; or

(B) a reasonable person in the position of the actor would have known that the serial number or other permanent identification marking has been removed, altered, or obliterated.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the person was:

(1) the owner or acting with the effective consent of the owner of the property involved;

(2) a peace officer acting in the actual discharge of official duties; or

(3) acting with respect to a number assigned to a vehicle by the Texas Department of Transportation or the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, as applicable, and the person was:

(A) in the actual discharge of official duties as an employee or agent of the department; or

(B) in full compliance with the rules of the department as an applicant for an assigned number approved by the department.

(c) Property involved in a violation of this section may be treated as stolen for purposes of custody and disposition of the property.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(e) In this section, "vehicle" has the meaning given by Section 541.201, Transportation Code.

Added by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 417, ch. 191, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 4525, ch. 741, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1983; Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 113, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.239, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 933 (H.B. 3097), Sec. 3J.02, eff. September 1, 2009.

Sec. 31.12. THEFT OF OR TAMPERING WITH MULTICHANNEL VIDEO OR INFORMATION SERVICES. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the authorization of the multichannel video or information services provider, the person intentionally or knowingly:

(1) makes or maintains a connection, whether physically, electrically, electronically, or inductively, to:

(A) a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system; or

(B) a television set, videotape recorder, or other receiver attached to a multichannel video or information system;

(2) attaches, causes to be attached, or maintains the attachment of a device to:

(A) a cable, wire, or other component of or media attached to a multichannel video or information services system; or

(B) a television set, videotape recorder, or other receiver attached to a multichannel video or information services system;

(3) tampers with, modifies, or maintains a modification to a device installed by a multichannel video or information services provider; or

(4) tampers with, modifies, or maintains a modification to an access device or uses that access device or any unauthorized access device to obtain services from a multichannel video or information services provider.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Access device," "connection," and "device" mean an access device, connection, or device wholly or partly designed to make intelligible an encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal carried by a multichannel video or information services provider.

(2) "Encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal" means any type of signal or transmission not intended to produce an intelligible program or service without the use of a device, signal, or information provided by a multichannel video or information services provider.

(3) "Multichannel video or information services provider" means a licensed cable television system, video dialtone system, multichannel multipoint distribution services system, direct broadcast satellite system, or other system providing video or information services that are distributed by cable, wire, radio frequency, or other media.

(c) This section does not prohibit the manufacture, distribution, sale, or use of satellite receiving antennas that are otherwise permitted by state or federal law.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the actor:

(1) has been previously convicted one time of an offense under this section, in which event the offense is a Class B misdemeanor, or convicted two or more times of an offense under this section, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor; or

(2) committed the offense for remuneration, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor, unless it is also shown on the trial of the offense that the actor has been previously convicted two or more times of an offense under this section, in which event the offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $2,000 and a minimum term of confinement of 180 days.

(e) For the purposes of this section, each connection, attachment, modification, or act of tampering is a separate offense.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 858, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 31.13. MANUFACTURE, DISTRIBUTION, OR ADVERTISEMENT OF MULTICHANNEL VIDEO OR INFORMATION SERVICES DEVICE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person for remuneration intentionally or knowingly manufactures, assembles, modifies, imports into the state, exports out of the state, distributes, advertises, or offers for sale, with an intent to aid in the commission of an offense under Section 31.12, a device, a kit or part for a device, or a plan for a system of components wholly or partly designed to make intelligible an encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal carried or caused by a multichannel video or information services provider.

(b) In this section, "device," "encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal," and "multichannel video or information services provider" have the meanings assigned by Section 31.12.

(c) This section does not prohibit the manufacture, distribution, advertisement, offer for sale, or use of satellite receiving antennas that are otherwise permitted by state or federal law.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 318, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 858, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 31.14. SALE OR LEASE OF MULTICHANNEL VIDEO OR INFORMATION SERVICES DEVICE. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly sells or leases, with an intent to aid in the commission of an offense under Section 31.12, a device, a kit or part for a device, or a plan for a system of components wholly or partly designed to make intelligible an encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal carried or caused by a multichannel video or information services provider.

(b) In this section, "device," "encrypted, encoded, scrambled, or other nonstandard signal," and "multichannel video or information services provider" have the meanings assigned by Section 31.12.

(c) This section does not prohibit the sale or lease of satellite receiving antennas that are otherwise permitted by state or federal law without providing notice to the comptroller.

(d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 858, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Sec. 31.15. POSSESSION, MANUFACTURE, OR DISTRIBUTION OF CERTAIN INSTRUMENTS USED TO COMMIT RETAIL THEFT. (a) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

(b) A person commits an offense if, with the intent to use the instrument to commit theft, the person:

(1) possesses a shielding or deactivation instrument; or

(2) knowingly manufactures, sells, offers for sale, or otherwise distributes a shielding or deactivation instrument.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 109, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323 (H.B. 2482), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 31.16. ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT. (a) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of:

(1) stolen retail merchandise; or

(2) merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise.

(c) An offense under this section is:

(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the total value of the merchandise involved in the activity is less than $50;

(2) a Class A misdemeanor if the total value of the merchandise involved in the activity is $50 or more but less than $500;

(3) a state jail felony if the total value of the merchandise involved in the activity is $500 or more but less than $1,500;

(4) a felony of the third degree if the total value of the merchandise involved in the activity is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;

(5) a felony of the second degree if the total value of the merchandise involved in the activity is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000; or

(6) a felony of the first degree if the total value of the merchandise involved in the activity is $100,000 or more.

(d) An offense described for purposes of punishment by Subsections (c)(1)-(5) is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:

(1) the person organized, supervised, financed, or managed one or more other persons engaged in an activity described by Subsection (b); or

(2) during the commission of the offense, a person engaged in an activity described by Subsection (b) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:

(A) caused a fire exit alarm to sound or otherwise become activated;

(B) deactivated or otherwise prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding; or

(C) used a shielding or deactivation instrument to prevent or attempt to prevent detection of the offense by a retail theft detector.

(e) Repealed by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1274 (H.B. 3584), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323 (H.B. 2482), Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 323 (H.B. 2482), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.

Sec. 31.17. UNAUTHORIZED ACQUISITION OR TRANSFER OF CERTAIN FINANCIAL INFORMATION. (a) In this section:

(1) "Check" has the meaning assigned by Section 3.104, Business & Commerce Code.

(2) "Credit card" and "debit card" have the meanings assigned by Section 32.31.

(3) "Financial sight order or payment card information" means financial information that is:

(A) contained on either side of a check or similar sight order, check card, debit card, or credit card; or

(B) encoded on the magnetic strip or stripe of a check card, debit card, or credit card.

(b) A person commits an offense if the person, knowing that the person is not entitled to obtain or possess that financial information:

(1) obtains the financial sight order or payment card information of another by use of an electronic, photographic, visual imaging, recording, or other device capable of accessing, reading, recording, capturing, copying, imaging, scanning, reproducing, or storing in any manner the financial sight order or payment card information; or

(2) transfers to a third party information obtained as described by Subdivision (1).

(c) An offense under Subsection (b)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor. An offense under Subsection (b)(2) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor may be prosecuted under this section or the other law.

Added by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 260 (H.B. 1215), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.