Brown v. State (2000)

In Brown v. State, 14 S.W.3d 832 (Tex. App.--Austin 2000, pet. ref'd), the defendant was found guilty of stealing meat, cheese, and beer worth $ 10.36. This would normally be a Class C misdemeanor, but Brown had two prior misdemeanor and three prior felony theft convictions, and his punishment was enhanced to a second degree felony. The Austin Court held that Brown's convictions were all for theft and, therefore, that his conviction could not be enhanced beyond a state jail felony because the theft-by-repetition statute provides that "theft of property having a value of less than $ 1,500 is a state jail felony if the defendant 'has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft.'" 14 S.W.3d at 832. The court concluded that this language limited the maximum enhancement effect of prior theft convictions regardless of their number or degree. Id.