Shoplifting or retail theft is commonly associated with teenagers and young adults. However, this is actually a myth. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention states that 75 percent of shoplifters are adults. While shoplifting may seem like a minor crime, Texas law disagrees. Those who shoplift may face statutory penalties.

A retail theft conviction may result in harsh penalties such as expensive fines or jail time. Depending on the value of the stolen goods you may even face felony charges. It’s not just important, but essential, that you gain legal representation if you’ve been charged with theft.

Attorney for Shoplifting in Denton County, Texas

Have you recently been arrested for alleged shoplifting in the Denton County area? Don’t make any statements to the police until you have an attorney present. Protect yourself now with legal representation from the attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. 

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is a group of distinguished attorneys who have a strong focus in criminal defense. Our attorneys have years of experience defending those accused of shoplifting in Texas. We have the right knowledge, assets and determination needed to defend your case. Call now at 940-222-8004 to schedule a free consultation today.

Do not wait another moment for your freedom. [firm] represents those accused of shoplifting throughout the greater Denton County area and nearing communities including Little Elm, Highland Village, Flower Mound, and Westlake.

Overview of Shoplifting in Texas

Texas Penalties for Shoplifting

Texas legislation doesn’t have a single statute for shoplifting. Instead, retail theft can be found under the umbrella offense of theft. Texas Penal Law § 31.03 states that a person commits theft if he or she appropriates property without the owner’s consent. The penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the goods stolen. 

If the stolen goods valued at less than $100 the crime is a Class C misdemeanor. A class C misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $500. 

A shoplifting offense is a class B misdemeanor if:

  • The property stolen was $100 or more, but less than $750; or
  • The stolen goods were less than $100, but the defendant has a prior theft conviction. 

A class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. 

Shoplifting offenses where the goods value at $750 or more, but less than $2,500 is a class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a class A misdemeanor includes up to 12 months in jail and a possible fine of up to $4,000. 

Retail theft is a state jail felony if:

  • The stolen goods value at $2,500 or more, but less than $30,000;
  • The defendant stole a firearm;
  • The stolen goods value at less than $2,500, but the defendant has a prior theft conviction;
  • The stolen goods were less than $20,000 and were made out of either aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass. 

A state jail felony is punishable by up to 24 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Retail theft can be elevated to a third-degree felony. Those who shoplift property $30,00 or more but less than $150,000 may face a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. 

A shoplifting offense is a second-degree felony if the stolen property values at $150,000, but less than $300,000. The penalty for a second-degree felony is up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Those who shoplift property that values at $300,000 or more may face a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony is punishable with a maximum of 99 years or life imprisonment, and a $10,000 fine.

Aggravating Factors for Shoplifting Offenses in Texas

Certain aggravating factors can elevate the penalty for shoplifting offenses. If these factors are proven in trial, the defendant may have their charges increased to the next higher category of offense. For example, if you’re initially charged with a class B misdemeanor and one of these factors are proven to be present you’ll face a class A misdemeanor instead.

If the prosecution proves any of the following factors, the penalties may be enhanced:

  • The defendant was a public servant and was able to shoplift because of his or her status as a public servant;
  • The retail owner was an elderly individual;
  • The retail establishment was a nonprofit organization;
  • During the offense, the defendant knowingly caused a fire alarm to sound;
  • During the offense, the defendant knowingly prevented a fire alarm or retail theft detector from sounding; or
  • The defendant utilized a shielding or deactivation instrument during the offense. 

Possessing Shoplifting Tools in Texas

Shoplifters have created instruments or tools to help retail theft crimes. Typically, a shoplifting tool diverts retail theft detectors or discards security tags. Some examples may be a purse lined with metal foil or a bolt cutter for security tags. Possessing, creating or using shoplifting tools is a crime in the state of Texas. 

A person could be charged with a retail theft tool crime in Texas if he or she:

  • Attempted to use the instrument with the intent of shoplifting;
  • Used the instrument intentionally to shoplift; or
  • Offered, sold or manufactured the retail theft tool knowing its purpose.

Texas Penal Code § 31.15 states that using, possessing, or manufacturing shoplifting tools is a class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a class A misdemeanor includes: 

  • Up to 12 months in jail; and
  • A possible fine of up to $4,000.

Additional Resources 

ORC Loss Prevention | Shoplifting - Visit the official website for the Texas Retailers Association, a representation of large companies and retail professionals in the state of Texas. Find more information about organized retail crime (ORC) and how professional shoplifting deprives retailers close to $37 billion a year. 

Texas Theft Laws – Visit the official website for Texas state laws and legislation to find more information about theft crimes. Gain access to Texas statutes to read more on theft, grand theft, petit theft, organized retail theft, and cargo theft. 

Shoplifting Lawyer in Denton, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with shoplifting or any theft-related crime, call the attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy now. We have been defending those accused of retail theft for years. We are equipped with the strategies, resources and knowledge needed to fight for you. Call now at 940-222-8004 to schedule a free consultation. 

Shoplifting offenses should never be taken lightly. You must take action and find trusted legal representation now with Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.  The attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy practice law throughout the Denton area and surrounding communities including Lewisville, Little Elm, and The Colony.

This article was last updated on November 28, 2018.


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