Texas law prohibits shoplifting under the general definition of theft. In addition, the state has specific laws against hiding items or deactivating antitheft devices in a retail setting.
Review the definitions and possible penalties for various types of theft crimes in Texas when facing court for this offense.
What is theft?
Texas describes theft as any action or attempted action that deprives someone else of his or her property illegally and intentionally. The state may pursue additional charges for distributing, making or possessing items used to thwart antitheft devices and facilitate shoplifting.
Texas categorizes theft as a misdemeanor for merchandise valued at $2,500 or less, Stealing items exceeding this threshold can result in felony charges.
What are the possible penalties for theft?
Theft of property valued at $100 or less is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500. A Class B misdemeanor shoplifting charge applies to theft worth $100 to $750 and to second-time offenses of lesser value. This conviction carries up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Theft of $750 to $2,500 is a Class A misdemeanor that results in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
Felony shoplifting offenses carry fines of up to $10,000 and minimum prison sentences ranging from two to 20 years for theft of up to $300,000. Theft exceeding this threshold is a first-degree felony that can possibly carry up to 99 years in prison.
Individuals charged with theft in Texas should understand the possible legal consequences as they prepare for court.