Houston Shoplifting Lawyer


Defense Against Texas Shoplifting Charges

Texas law consolidates all theft offenses under Section 31.03 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 now all 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. Theft occurs when it is taken:

  • “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 shoplifting increase depending on the amount of the stolen property. If the value of the property is:

  • Less than $100, it will be charged as a Class C misdemeanor.
  • $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, it will be charged as a Class B misdemeanor.
  • $750 or more but less than $2,500, it will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor.

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 you could be facing felony charges. A felony conviction can result in a state prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.

Hire an Experienced Houston Shoplifting Attorney

If you have been arrested for shoplifting in Texas, you could be 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 be getting 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 Defense Attorney. He has over 25 years of experience, including as a former prosecutor at both the state and federal level. Find out how Mr. Alston can help by contacting the Law Offices of James Alston today at (713) 228-1400 for a consultation.