Fair Market Value of Stolen Property Law In Texas

"Value" as the term applies to theft offenses, is defined in the Penal Code as either "the fair market value of the property at the time and place of the offense" or, if fair market value cannot be determined, "the cost of replacing the property within a reasonable time after the theft." TEX. PEN. CODE ANN. 31.08(a)(1) & (2) (Vernon 1994). Value can be established by testimony from an owner or non-owner. See Pichon v. State, 756 S.W.2d 16, 19-20 (Tex. App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1988, pet. ref'd). A non-owner can testify to the value of property if he can show that his testimony is based on personal knowledge and he gives explicit testimony about the value of the property. See id. Either retail or wholesale price will serve as an appropriate measure of fair market value. See Keeton v. State, 803 S.W.2d 304, 305 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991).