Houston Shoplifting Lawyer

Defense Against Texas Shoplifting Charges

Texas law consolidates all theft offenses under Section 31.02 of the Penal Code. Shoplifting, along with theft by false pretext, conversion by a bailee, theft from the person, acquisition of property by threat, swindling, swindling by worthless check, embezzlement, extortion, receiving or concealing embezzled property, and receiving or concealing stolen property are consolidated under the broader crime of theft.

Penalties for Shoplifting under Texas Law

According to Sec. 31.03, theft is the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner. Appropriation of property is unlawful if::

  • It is without the owner’s effective consent;
  • The property is stolen, and the actor appropriates the property knowing it was stolen by another; or
  • Property in the custody of any law enforcement agency was explicitly represented by any law enforcement agent to the actor as being stolen, and the actor appropriates the property believing it was stolen by another.”

The penalties for theft and shoplifting depend on the amount of the stolen property. If the value of the property is:

  • Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $100.
  • Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property is $100 or more but less than $750; less than $100, but the defendant has a prior theft conviction; or the property stolen is a driver’s license, commercial license, or a state-issued personal identification certificate.
  • Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property is $750 or more but less than $2,500.

If the value of the property stolen is $2,500 or more, involves a human corpse or grave, ten heads or more of livestock, is a firearm, or a number of other conditions the charge will be filed as a felony. A felony conviction can result in a state prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.

Hire an Experienced Houston Theft and Shoplifting Attorney

If you have been arrested for theft or shoplifting in Texas, you are facing serious charges. You need to retain legal representation immediately after your arrest to protect your rights and your freedom. Without the help of an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer, you may not get the best possible outcome for your case. Attorney James Alston is a skilled trial attorney, recognized by renowned organizations such as The National Trial Lawyers and Super Lawyers as an elite Houston Criminal Defense Attorney. James Alston has over 30 years of experience in the criminal justice system, including 12 years as a former prosecutor at both the state and federal levels. Find out how James Alston can help you by contacting the Law Offices of James Alston today at (713) 228-1400 for a consultation.