Shoplifting / Retail Theft

Denton Retail Theft Lawyer | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Shoplifting / Retail Theft


Texas Penal Code § 31.02 establishes that theft as defined in Texas Penal Code § 31.03 constitutes a single offense superseding the separate offenses previously known as theft, theft by false pretext, conversion by a bailee, theft from the person, shoplifting, acquisition of property by threat, swindling, swindling by worthless check, embezzlement, extortion, receiving or concealing embezzled property, and receiving or concealing stolen property. Retail theft, more commonly referred to as shoplifting, will be charged as a theft offense that occurred in a retail establishment.


Being accused of shoplifting can be extremely embarrassing, and many alleged offenders may not have intended to steal any property. Criminal charges in these cases are based on the value of the property that was stolen, so alleged offenses involving particularly expensive items may constitute felony offenses.

Theft


Denton Retail Theft Lawyer


If you or your loved one were arrested for an alleged shoplifting offense in the Denton area, you should avoid speaking to police until you have an attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as you can.


Our firm can fight to protect your rights and help you avoid the costliest penalties. We can explore all of your legal options with you as soon as you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.


Shoplifting Penalties in Denton


Under Texas Penal Code § 31.03, a theft offense is graded based on the value of the property allegedly stolen. Theft crimes are classified as follows based on the value of the property:


  • Less than $50 — Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.


  • $50 or more but less than $500, or $50 or less by an alleged offender previously convicted of theft — Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.


  • $500 or more but less than $1,500 — Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.


  • $1,500 or more but less than $20,000, or less than $1,500 by an alleged offender previously convicted of theft two or more times — State jail felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to two years in state jail.


  • $20,000 or more, but less than $100,000 — Third-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison


  • $100,000 or more, but less than $200,000 — Second-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 20 years in prison.


  • $200,000 or more — First-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 99 years or life in prison


The Texas Theft Liability Act, encoded under Chapter 134 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, further allows the victims of retail theft or shoplifting to sue for damages. Parents or guardians of alleged offenders under 18 years of age is liable for theft committed by their children.


Organized Retail Theft Penalties in Texas


Texas Penal Code § 31.16 establishes the crime of organized retail theft, which is defined as intentionally conducting, promoting, or facilitating an activity in which the alleged offender receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of stolen retail merchandise or merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise. Organized retail theft crimes are also classified by the value of the property involved, with criminal penalties being as follows:


  • Less than $100 — Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.


  • $100 or more but less than $750 — Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail.


  • $750 or more but less than $2,500 — Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail.


  • $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, or less than $1,500 by an alleged offender previously convicted of theft two or more times — State jail felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to two years in state jail.


  • $30,000 or more, but less than $150,000 — Third-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison


  • $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000 — Second-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 20 years in prison.


  • $300,000 or more — First-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to 99 years or life in prison.


Under Texas Penal Code § 31.16(d), criminal offense can be increased to the next higher category if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the alleged offender organized, supervised, financed, or managed one or more other persons engaged in an activity described by Texas Penal Code § 31.16(b), or during the commission of the alleged offense, a person engaged in an activity described by Texas Penal Code § 31.16(b) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused a fire exit alarm to sound or otherwise become activated, deactivated or otherwise prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding, or used a shielding or deactivation instrument to prevent or attempt to prevent detection of the offense by a retail theft detector.


Shoplifting Defenses in Denton County


Some people are accused of shoplifting when they did not actually intend to steal anything. Most of these cases can be resolved with the retailers, but some may still insist on having criminal charges filed.


When a person argues that they did not have criminal intent, a more desirable resolution to the case could be worked out if the property is returned.


Retail Theft Resources in Denton County


Police | City of Denton — On the Denton Police Department website, you can access a crime map. You can also use online reporting. The website also has jail and warrants information.


National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — Originally founded as Shoplifters Anonymous, Inc., NASP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. It identifies itself as “the nationwide leader in shoplifting prevention efforts.” Use this website view recidivism studies, learn more about education programs for adults and juveniles, and take online theft classes.


Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Shoplifting Attorney


Were you or your loved one arrested for alleged retail theft in Denton or a surrounding community in North Central Texas? Get the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy on your side as quickly as you can.


Our firm can make sure that you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. Call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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