There are a wide variety of circumstances where someone can be charged with shoplifting, and each can cause a lot of embarrassment or much more issues for the individual dealing with these charges. Under the Texas Penal Code, there are many different designations for the varying severity of shoplifting charges depending on the value of the items stolen, the offender’s criminal history, and the different actions taken during the crime.
Read more below about some overview information regarding shoplifting in Texas, and contact us now to schedule a free initial consultation about your own situation. Even if you are charged with a misdemeanor, consulting with an attorney is a great idea. Misdemeanors may not seem like that big of an issue on their own, but it is important that you understand the long-term impact that this charge can have on your criminal record, and how it may impact any future charges that you may get for similar or different crimes. Therefore, you want to be certain that the charges are handled appropriately no matter how minor or severe they are, in order to ensure that the rest of your life will not be impacted by this mistake.
What Is Shoplifting?
Shoplifting, according to the Texas Penal Code, falls under the general definition of theft. Theft is defined in section 13.03: “A person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property with intent to deprive the owner of property.” In addition, it is a crime to be in possession of instruments that are meant to deactivate, shield, remove, or otherwise interfere with anti-theft devices. This means that if you are caught with one of these instruments in a store, you can be charged even if you were not caught in possession of stolen property.
There are a variety of designations for shoplifting, based on the value of the items and the severity of the actions. Below are some overview designations for the charges, although your case may be different.
Class C Misdemeanor
Shoplifting items with a total combined value of less than $100. This can result in up to a $500 fine.
Class B Misdemeanor
Shoplifting items valued between $100 and $750. Fines of up to $2,000, and up to 6 months in jail.
Class A Misdemeanor
Items with a combined value of between $750 and $2500. Fines of up to $4,000, and up to a year in jail.
Additionally, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor if you are found to be in possession of, manufacturing, or distributing instruments intended to deactivate security devices.
State Jail Felony
Property valued between $2500 and $30,000. Fines up to $10,000, and between 6 months and 2 years in jail.
Additionally, if you have two or more prior convictions for theft of any degree, you will be charged with a state jail felony if the property is valued at less than $2,500.
Third Degree Felony
Property valued between $30,000 and $150,000. Fines of up to $10,000, and between 2 and 10 years in prison.
Second Degree Felony
Property valued between $150,000 and $300,000. Fines of up to $10,000, and between 2 and 20 years in prison.
First Degree Felony
Property valued in excess of $300,000. Fines of up to $10,000, and between 2 and 99 years in prison.
Contact Us Today
As you can see from the brief rundown above, the charges and penalties for shoplifting can vary greatly depending on your criminal history, the value of the property, and many other factors. Therefore, it is important that you are represented by an experienced attorney who will help you navigate these charges, identify all possible options for seeking the best possible outcome for the case, and ensure that your life is impacted as little as possible following this incident and your charges. Contact us today for your free initial consultation and to begin building a strong defense as soon as possible.