If you’ve been accused of shoplifting in Texas, you are most likely wondering what penalties you’ll face, and whether you need to hire a team of Houston theft crime lawyers to represent you. Please continue reading to learn more about these charges and how our firm can help if you’re facing them. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Is Shoplifting a Crime in Texas?

In Texas, shoplifting is not just a minor infraction; it’s a criminal offense that can lead to significant consequences. The severity of penalties for shoplifting varies, primarily depending on the value of the stolen items.

Shoplifting items worth less than $100, for instance, is considered a Class C misdemeanor, typically resulting in a fine. However, stealing goods valued between $100 and $750 elevates the crime to a Class B misdemeanor, potentially leading to harsher penalties including jail time.

How Does Texas Law Determine Shoplifting Penalties?

The complexity of Texas law is evident in how it categorizes and penalizes shoplifting offenses. If the value of stolen merchandise ranges from $750 to $2,500, the offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This classification can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine not exceeding $4,000.

Texas law becomes more stringent as the value of stolen goods increases. Shoplifting items valued over $2,500 but less than $30,000 is considered a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Theft of items worth between $30,000 and $150,000 escalates the crime to a third-degree felony.

What Additional Factors Influence Shoplifting Penalties?

Several factors can complicate the legal landscape for shoplifting offenses in Texas.

For one, prior criminal history significantly impacts the severity of sentencing, and a repeat offender is likely to face harsher penalties compared to a first-time offender.

The nature of the stolen items also plays a critical role; stealing firearms, for example, automatically classifies the theft as a felony, regardless of the item’s value.

Furthermore, committing shoplifting as part of an organized crime ring leads to more severe charges and penalties.

It’s crucial to understand that penalties aren’t solely confined to legal consequences. The social stigma and lasting impact on one’s criminal record can hinder future employment opportunities, professional licenses, and even housing options.

Importantly, hiring a skilled Houston criminal defense lawyer can make a world of a difference when it comes to combatting shoplifting and other theft charges. If you’re currently accused of shoplifting, please don’t hesitate to contact The Sparks Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule your free initial consultation with our dedicated legal team.