Shoplifting

Like all theft-related offenses, a shoplifting conviction can have grave repercussions on your life.  In addition to the potential for jail time and fines, a criminal record for shoplifting can make it difficult for you to keep your job, find a job in the future, obtain housing or even get financial aid.  Even if it is charged as a misdemeanor offense, shoplifting can have a negative impact on your life.  That is why it is so important that you contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with shoplifting in Texas.  

Shoplifting Defined

Under Texas law, shoplifting happens when someone takes something unlawfully; in other words, when someone steals. 

It can be charged in a number of ways:
  • If a person swaps price tags to pay a lower price
  • If a person takes items from a store without paying for them
  • If a person writes bad checks at a store
  • If a person conceals merchandise to avoid paying for it
  • If a person goes through self-checkout and either does not scan items or scans lower-priced items (for example, by entering a different code for a less expensive type of produce)

Do you need help with a shoplifting case?

Contact Us

Shoplifting is punished based on the value of the goods stolen.

  • Under $50: Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. If it a second offense, it is a Class B misdemeanor (see below)
  • Between $50 and $500: Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000
  • Between $500 and $5,000:  Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000
  • Between $1,500 and $20,000, or the theft of a firearm; State Jail felony, punishable by between 180 days and 2 years in a state prison facility and fines of up to $10,000
  • Between $20,000 and $200,000: Third degree felony, punishable by between 2 and 10 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000
  • Over $200,000: First degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines

As you can see, a shoplifting conviction can result in heavy penalties, particularly if the value of the goods is high. In addition, shoplifters can be sued in civil court for damages, plus a penalty of up to $1,000 for adults and $5,000 for the parents of child shoplifters.  This means that if you stole something valued at $1,500, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, may be sentenced to jail and be ordered to pay a fine of up to $4,000 — and you may be liable to the store for up to $2,5000 ($1,500 in damages plus $1,000).  

Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Dallas, Texas

If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting in or around Dallas, you will need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your case and explore options, including pre-trial diversion programs that may allow you to have the charges dropped if you successfully complete the program. Our attorneys will assess the facts of your case, and find all possible legal defenses to the charge to prepare for trial if the charges are not dismissed or reduced.