Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Cargo Theft

Cargo Theft

Chapter 31 of the Texas Penal Code defines theft related offenses.

"Cargo" means goods, as defined by Section 7.102, Business & Commerce Code, that constitute, wholly or partly, a commercial shipment of freight moving in commerce.  A shipment is considered to be moving in commerce if the shipment is located at any point between the point of origin and the final point of destination regardless of any temporary stop that is made for the purpose of transshipment or otherwise.

“Cargo Theft”, as per § 31.18 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the person receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, abandons, or disposes of:

  • stolen cargo; or

  • cargo explicitly represented to the person as being stolen cargo; or

  • is employed as a driver lawfully contracted to transport a specific cargo by vehicle from a known point of origin to a known point of destination and, with the intent to conduct, promote, or facilitate an activity described by Subdivision (1), knowingly or intentionally fails to deliver the entire cargo to the known point of destination as contracted; or causes the seal to be broken on the vehicle or on an intermodal container containing any part of the cargo.

An offense under this section is:

  • a state jail felony if the total value of the cargo involved in the activity is $1,500 or more but less than $10,000;

  • a felony of the third degree if the total value of the cargo involved in the activity is $10,000 or more but less than $100,000;

  • a felony of the second degree if the total value of the cargo involved in the activity is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or

  • a felony of the first degree if the total value of the cargo involved in the activity is $200,000 or more.

An offense described for purposes of punishment is increased to the next higher category of offense if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the person organized, supervised, financed, or managed one or more other persons engaged in an activity previously described.

Severity of Crime

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days

  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

Second Degree FelonY

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 20 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

First Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for life, or

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 99 years or less than five years with the exception of aggravated sexual assault, which adds a 25-year minimum punishment if the victim is younger than 6, or younger than 14 and the offense contained threats of serious bodily injury or death, or use of a deadly weapon

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000