Fort Worth Auto Theft Lawyer

By Jeff Kennedy

Were You Charged With Automobile Theft?

Being charged with auto theft in Texas is a felony offense, which can lead to serious jail time, fines and a criminal record. 

Over the past few years, the city of Fort worth has seen an increase in stolen cars. Which has intensified law enforcement efforts in combatting automobile theft. This means prosecutors are also working with law enforcement to intensify their efforts as well.

This is why you need an attorney with experience handling auto theft charges. Majority of car thefts will be felony charges, which means the repercussions can be serious if you do not have an experienced attorney on your side.

Charges Similar To Automobile Theft:

With a UUMV charge the state does not have to prove your intention to keep the vehicle. With theft they have to prove intention to keep the vehicle. Penalties vary with UUMV being a felony and Burglary of a vehicle a misdemeanor to felony.

Automobile Theft Laws in Texas Sec. 31.03

In Texas auto theft falls under the general theft statute located here Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code.

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.

Simply put, you can be charged with theft if you take ownership of property that is not yours, without the intention of giving it back. Another scenario is taking ownership of stolen property knowingly.

Here are some scenarios where you can be charged with theft:

  • Taking ownership of a vehicle that is not yours;
  • Operating a vehicle without the owners consent;
  • Have taken ownership of a vehicle without transferring the title to your name;
  • Borrow or rent a car without returning it;
  • Purchase a vehicle that is stolen (knowingly);

Auto Theft Penalties in Texas

The level of offense is based upon the vehicles values. Since most vehicles are valued over $2,500.00, you are most likely facing a felony charge.

Substance Offense Level Potential Jail or Prison Time Fine
$100 or less Class C Misdemeanor No Jail Time Up to $500
$100 – $749 Class B Misdemeanor Up to 180 Days Up to $2,000
$750 – $2,499 Class A Misdemeanor  Up To 1 Year Up to $4,000
$2,500 – $29,999 State Jail Felony 180 Days – 2 Years Up to $10,000
$30,000 – $149,999 Third-Degree Felony 2-10 Years Up to $10,000
$150,000 to $299,999 Second-Degree Felony 2-20 Years Up to $10,000
$300,000 or more First-Degree Felony 5-99 years Up to $10,000

There are many consequences of a conviction—spending time in prison is only one of them. Your entire life can be turned upside down if you are convicted of a felony.

If you have been charged, we can provide you with a free consultation and case review. Just give us a call today to get started.

During your consultation we will answer your questions, discuss your options and what to expect from the court system, including how we can build a defense for you.


Jeff C. Kennedy was the light of hope at the end of very dark storm. He was not only able to defend my case swiftly, but had the alleged charges dismissed completely. His calm and empathetic demeanor offered emotional succor to myself and those I care about most. My children and I are eternally grateful for his excellent service and I hereby recommend Jeff C. Kennedy without reservation.


Jeff Kennedy truly cares. He and his staff kept me informed all the way throughout my case and provided me with all my options and the potential outcomes for my case. When the day finally arrived to resolve my case, Jeff was able to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge. He was well prepared and coordinated everything perfectly. Jeff is not only a good lawyer, but a good man.


I hired Mr. Jeff Kennedy to handle a DWI charge. From day one, I knew I had picked the right attorney. Jeff always took the time to answer any of my questions, treated me very professionally, and truly cared about my case. I have never been in any kind of trouble before and I was very nervous about the thought of going to trial. Jeff thoroughly explained the entire process to me and made me feel at ease. Jeff took my case to trial and the jury found me NOT GUILTY!


Jeff Kennedy is a professional, intelligent, easy-to-talk-to lawyer with an excellent understanding of how the system works. Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car. This has been my only big mistake in life so far (hopefully the last) and I am glad he was there to walk me through it. You will not regret hiring him.

9133 Belshire Dr
North Richland Hills,
Texas 76182
301 W Vickery Blvd Suite #101
Fort Worth, Texas 76104
303 W Abram St
Texas 76010
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