Call Today for a Free Consultation


What to Do When You Are Facing a Shoplifting Charge in Texas

 Posted on March 07, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Fort Worth Criminal LawyerIf you are facing a shoplifting charge, it can be overwhelming. This might be due to a one-time mistake or a misunderstanding. It is important to know your rights and what to expect in the legal process. A Texas attorney can walk you through what you need to do if you are charged with shoplifting.

Understanding the Severity of the Charge

In Texas, shoplifting falls under the broader category of theft. The severity of the charge depends on the value of the stolen property:

  • Class C Misdemeanor: Property valued at less than $100

  • Class B Misdemeanor: Property valued between $100 and $750

  • Class A Misdemeanor: Property valued between $750 and $2,500

  • State Jail Felony: Property valued between $2,500 and $30,000

Penalties can range from a fine to jail time, depending on the severity of the offense and your prior criminal record.

Seek Legal Representation

Your first step should be to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in Texas shoplifting laws. An attorney can assess your case, explain your options, and develop a strong defense strategy. They can also negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce or dismiss the charges.

Gather Evidence

Provide your attorney with any evidence that may support your case, such as receipts, witness statements, or surveillance footage. If you believe there was a misunderstanding or mistake, communicate this to your attorney. They will investigate the incident and gather additional evidence to build your defense.

Understand Your Options

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have several options:

  • Plea Bargain: Your attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charges or penalties in exchange for a guilty plea.

  • Pretrial Diversion: For first-time offenders, some counties in Texas offer pretrial diversion programs. Upon successful completion of the program, the charges may be dismissed.

  • Trial: If you believe you are not guilty or there is insufficient evidence against you, your attorney may recommend taking the case to trial.

Consequences of a Shoplifting Conviction

A shoplifting conviction can have long-lasting consequences, including:

  • Criminal Record: A conviction will appear on your criminal record, which can affect future employment, housing, and educational opportunities.

  • Fines and Restitution: You may be required to pay fines and restitution to the store owner.

  • Community Service: The court may order you to complete community service hours.

  • Probation: You might be put on probation, meaning you will need to regularly meet with a probation officer and follow specific rules.

Protecting Your Future

To minimize the impact of a shoplifting charge on your future, it is crucial to work closely with your attorney and follow their advice. Attend all court appearances, complete any court-ordered requirements, and stay out of trouble. In some cases, you may be eligible to have your record sealed or expunged after completing your sentence.

Contact a Tarrant County, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing a shoplifting charge can be stressful, but remember that you have rights and options. By seeking a Fort Worth, TX criminal defense attorney, gathering evidence, and understanding the legal process, you can navigate this challenging situation and work towards the best possible outcome. Call The Dameron Law Firm at 817-222-0624 for a free consultation.

Share this post:
Back to Top