Shoplifting is a common crime that virtually everyone knows about. Hardly anyone needs to be told that shoplifting is a criminal offense that may come with costly fines and jail time. However, there are many details to the theft laws in Texas that a lot of people do not know about.
For example, Texas shoplifting laws fall under general theft according to the state penal code. Shoplifting can range from a Class C misdemeanor up to a first-degree felony, depending on the value of items and any previous conviction.
Classification of shoplifting crimes
Here is an outline of how serious shoplifting offenses are based on the value of the stolen property:
- Less than $100: Class C misdemeanor
- Between $100 and $750: Class B misdemeanor
- Between $750 and $2,500: Class A misdemeanor
- Between $2,500 and $30,000: State jail felony
- Between $30,000 and $150,000: Third-degree felony
- Between $150,000 and $300,000: Second-degree felony
- More than $300,000: First-degree felony
As you can see, the impact of shoplifting can be very different. But any shoplifting conviction on a criminal record can have long-lasting legal, societal and occupational consequences.
Shoplifting penalties in Texas
The maximum penalties for shoplifting depend on the severity of the charge:
- Class C misdemeanor: $500 fine
- Class B misdemeanor: $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail
- Class A misdemeanor: $4,000 fine and one year in jail
- State jail felony: $10,000 fine and two years in jail
- Third-degree felony: $10,000 fine and 2 to 10 years imprisonment
- Second-degree felony: $10,000 fine and 2 to 20 years imprisonment
- First-degree felony: $10,000 fine and 5 to 99 years in imprisonment
Any of these consequences are worth fighting against for anyone who is facing shoplifting charges.
Other shoplifting crimes
Defendants may face charges for activities other than simply stealing items. For example, it is a Class A misdemeanor to possess, manufacture or distribute a device that deactivates or shields instruments to prevent shoplifting. Prior theft convictions may also exacerbate the charges and repercussions of shoplifting. Thankfully, it is possible to defend against and expunge shoplifting charges.