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Shopping on Sale Day


Shoplifting / Theft allegations in Texas can be very embarrassing and can often arise from false accusations. Many merchants and retail store managers are so cautious about preventing theft that they will make shoplifting accusations without sufficient evidence or proof.


Shoplifting / Theft offenses can result in serious penalties, including jail or prison time, steep fines, restitution to the alleged victim, a criminal record, and/or ineligibility to pursue certain educational opportunities, professions, or occupations.

An individual can be charged with retail theft or shoplifting if they intentionally and unlawfully take the property from a store, retailer, or merchant, with the intent to deprive the store or retailer of the property without their consent.

The penalties for retail theft can vary depending on the value of the property stolen, whether the alleged offender has any previous convictions, the type of property stolen, and how the alleged offender committed the act.

Some of the penalties based on the severity of the crime can be:

  • Anything below $100 is a Class C charge

  • Class B if more than $100 but less than $750

  • Class A if more than $750 but less than $2,500

  • State fail felony if: more than $2,500 but less than $30K

  • Regardless of the value, if property is stolen from a human corpse or grave, including property that is a military grave marker. 

  • If the property stolen is a firearm

  • The value is less than $2,500 and the D has been previously convicted 2 or more times of any grade of theft

  • Property stolen is an official ballot or official carrier envelope for an election

  • If the property stolen is less than $20K and the property is:

    • Aluminum

    • Bronze

    • Copper

    • Brass

  • Felony of 3rd degree if the value is $30K or more but less than $150K

  • Felony of 2nd degree if the value is more than $150K or more but less than $300K

  • And felony of 1st degree if value is is $300K or more.

Additionally, an individual that has been charged with a criminal theft offense may be liable for civil penalties under Texas Theft Liability Act. Anyone who has been a victim of theft can sue the alleged offender, or their parents if the offender is under the age of 18, for actual damages, punitive (punishment) damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees.

If you have been charged with shoplifting in Texas, it is very important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will make every effort to find defenses or mitigating factors to your alleged retail theft offense.

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