We all make mistakes. But when your mistake is a violation of criminal law, you have to face the consequences. Texas shoplifting laws are strict and you could face serious penalties for taking something from a retail establishment without paying for it. Maybe you forgot something was in the bottom of your cart or your hands were full so you carried it in your purse, meaning to take it out later. Whether it was an honest mistake or if you admit you intended to shoplift, we can put you in touch with someone that can help.
Some people steal out of what they feel is necessity. A lack of funds can sometimes lead people to do drastic things. Others simply shoplift for the thrill of it. Just as there are a multitude of things that can be taken from a store, there are many motivations that would drive someone to shoplift.
But shoplifting doesn’t only refer to concealing an item and leaving the store with it, you could also be charged for shoplifting if you change the price tag on an item to reflect a lower price. Both are considered theft offenses and both will likely be pursued by the local prosecutor.
Texas Shoplifting Laws & Penalties
In Texas, the penalty you face for your shoplifting charge is dependent on the value of the items you are accused of taking. Obviously, like in other states, the more valuable the goods, the more serious your penalty will be.
Below is a table representing the value of the item(s) in question, the charge and the potential penalty you could face:
|Less than $50||Class C misdemeanor||$500 fine|
|$50 to $499||Class B misdemeanor||180 days in jail and $2,000 in fines|
|$500 to $1,499||Class A misdemeanor||1 year in jail and $4,000 in fines|
|$1,500 to $19,999||State jail felony||2 years in state jail and $10,000 in fines|
When you are charged with shoplifting, if you are accused of taking more than one item, the value of those items will be added together to determine your charge. This can significantly increase the seriousness of the charges and the ultimate punishment you are sentenced to.
Being charged with shoplifting is not the same as being convicted. You still have options. Discussing the details of your case with an experienced local defense lawyer is one way to know for certain what these options might be and how best to proceed.