The Law Office Of H. Alex Fuller, PLLC

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The Law Office Of H. Alex Fuller, PLLC

Call His McKinney Office To Request A
Free, Confidential Consultation

What does it mean to deprive someone of property?

To commit theft in Texas, you need to deprive someone else of their legal property. It is an essential component of the law that the prosecutor must prove to get a guilty verdict.

The Texas Constitution and Statutes explain deprive has a few different definitions that could work when it comes to a theft charge.


If you take something from someone, you could deprive them of it if you refuse to return it unless they pay you or give you compensation. You might typically consider this holding something for ransom. You take the item and then alert the owner they will not get it back unless they do something specific. It does not always have to require them to pay you money.


If you take someone else’s property and then destroy it or dispose of it in a way where they could never get it back, then that would satisfy the deprive element of a theft charge. Your actions, whether intentional or not, would take away the other person’s ability to enjoy their property ever again.


If you have someone else’s property for a length of time, it could be depriving them of it. The time you keep it must be extensive enough that the item loses value and the owner loses the ability to enjoy it. For example, if you take someone’s lipstick and use it for three months, you deprive that person of all the lipstick you used even if he or she gets the item back.

Depriving someone of something as an element in a theft charge essentially just means you take away their ability to enjoy the item.


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