Shoplifting is a serious theft offense in Texas. Under Texas Penal Code 31.02, a wide range of situations can lead to shoplifting charges. While most people associate shoplifting with swiping an item without paying, this offense entails much more than unlawfully stealing a store’s property. In fact, you can face petty theft charges if you under-ring a retail item, knowingly write a bad check for retail items, swap out price tags, or return a product under fraudulent pretenses.
If it is alleged that you encouraged, helped or aided another person in a theft shoplifting offense, you can also be on the hook for a misdemeanor or felony charge. According to statute 31.03, appropriation of property is deemed unlawful if it without the owner’s effective consent and it is done with the intent to deprive the owner of said property.
Plano Shoplifting Lawyer
Criminal defense attorney Andrew Peveto defends shoplifting and related theft offenses in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Colin, Denton and Dallas Counties. As an experienced shoplifting defense lawyer, Mr. Peveto understands the stress and embarrassment that surround these types of charges and provides sound legal advice to achieve the most successful outcome possible.
If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting, it’s wise to retain competent legal counsel as soon as possible. Texas shoplifting laws are harsh, and a conviction is not something you want to risk. Don’t jeopardize your professional and educational goals with an inexperienced attorney. A conviction can be a tremendous source of humiliation and frustration for the rest of your life.
As your legal advocate, Andrew Peveto will develop a defense strategy based on the unique circumstances of your alleged offense. In some cases, this could be refuting evidentiary issues, in others it may be a plea deal to have charges reduced. If unable to have the shoplifting charges dropped or dismissed, Mr. Peveto is a tenacious advocate at trial. If you are facing a theft conviction for shoplifting in Texas, we invite you to reach out for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Department Stores Prosecute Shoplifters
Imagine being detained, or even handcuffed, in a department store based on allegations that you shoplifted a T-shirt or piece of jewelry. Do stores in Texas normally prosecute? Historically, yes — particularly larger chain stores like Wal-Mart, Target, TJ Maxx, JC Penny and Sears. In most cases, the loss prevention employee will question you, write an ‘incident report,’ and call the police to report the offense. If the police issue you a citation for shoplifting, get legal representation as soon as possible. Andrew Peveto will act quickly to protect your reputation and minimize the ensuing damage.
Some Texas retailers are notorious for filing not only criminal charges against the alleged shoplifter, but also a civil claim for damages of up to $1,000, or up to $5,000 against the parents of a minor. It takes a skilled shoplifting lawyer to challenge civil suits for legal recovery.
Texas Shoplifting Laws & Penalties
Shoplifting falls under the larger umbrella of theft offenses in Texas, which means that the penalties directly correspond to the value of the property or item that was purportedly stolen without the owner’s consent.
- Value of property stolen is $50 or less – Class C misdemeanor – this shoplifting theft offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $500.
- Value of property stolen is between $50 to $500 – Class B misdemeanor—punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000.
- Value of property stolen is between $500 and $1,500 – Class A misdemeanor—punishable by up to 12 months in prison and/or $4,000 in fines.
- Value of property stolen is between $1,500 and $20,000 – State jail felony — punishable by up to 2 years in state prison and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.
- Value of property is between $20,000 and $100,000 — 3rd degree felony— penalties include from 2-10 years of incarceration and $10,000 in fines.
Shoplifting is not a petty crime considering the far-reaching consequences of a conviction. Retail outlets do not take apologies or accept restitution for stolen items. Most will prosecute suspects to the full extent of the law, just to make an example and deter others.
First-time shoplifting offenders have a stronger likelihood of getting charges reduced, but regardless of your situation, Andrew Peveto will raise a compelling defense to avoid unnecessary legal issues.
Plano theft defense attorney
The legal team at Peveto Law is proud to leverage years of experience defending theft offenses, helping our clients move past some of the most difficult periods of their lives. Align yourself with a theft defense lawyer who has a proven track record of acquittals, charge reductions, dismissals and trial victories. If you’ve been charged with shoplifting, call today to arrange a private consultation with Andrew Peveto at no charge.
- Texas Penal Code, PENAL § 31.02. Consolidation of Theft Offenses https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/penal-code/penal-sect-31-02.html
- National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, Shoplifters Alternative Course – for Adults http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/what-we-do/criminal-juvenile-justice-center/education-programs/programs-for-adults/