Even though shoplifting is usually considered a “minor” theft in the State of Texas, a conviction for shoplifting can result in serious penalties, depending upon the circumstances involved. In addition, an arrest or conviction for shoplifting can be the source of personal embarrassment and humiliation.
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Texas, it is important that you have an experienced attorney representing you and advocating for your legal interests throughout your case. The Houston criminal defense attorneys at Turnbull Legal Group can help you formulate a defense to your charge, pursue a plea deal with the prosecuting attorney, represent you at a criminal sentencing hearing, and more.
It is important that you seek out experienced legal representation as soon as possible, to give your attorney ample time to prepare for your case and all court proceedings. Give us a call today at 832-479-2104 or contact us online to learn more about how we could assist you with defending against your criminal shoplifting charge.
What is Shoplifting in Texas?
In the State of Texas, shoplifting is simply a kind of theft that usually occurs at the retail level. The law also prohibits individuals from deactivating, manufacturing, possessing, or shielding various instruments or tools which are used for the purpose of shoplifting.
The Texas Penal Code defines theft as unlawfully misappropriating property while specifically intending to deprive the true owner of his or her property.
In a shoplifting case, the prosecuting attorney has the burden of proving all of the legal elements of a shoplifting charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor is able to satisfy his or her legal burden, then a judge will be responsible for passing sentence in your case.
Potential Penalties Imposed upon Conviction
The potential penalties imposed upon conviction generally depend upon the type and value of the property which you allegedly stole – and whether or not you have previously been convicted of a theft offense.
For example, if you are found guilty of stealing merchandise which has a value of less than $100, the charge will be treated as a Class C misdemeanor. However, if you are caught stealing property that has a value of at least $100 (but under $750), you can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. Finally, if you steal property with a value of at least $750 (but under $2,500), you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Felony charges could also result for stealing more expensive merchandise.
A conviction for a Class C misdemeanor can result in a maximum fine of $500. A class B misdemeanor conviction can result in a maximum fine of $2,000 (along with a maximum of 180 days of incarceration). Finally, a Class A misdemeanor can result in a $4,000 fine, along with a maximum of one year of incarceration.
Contact a Houston Shoplifting Defense Lawyer Today
At Turnbull Legal Group, our team is ready to assist you with defending against your criminal shoplifting charge. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation, please call us today at 832-479-2104 or contact us online for more information.