Shoplifting Cases in Houston

In Houston, we’ve seen people accused of shoplifting after a “friend” dropped something in their bag or they absentmindedly strolled out of the store with a loaded basket as often as we’ve seen people who intentionally steal. A criminal charge for shoplifting can be very embarrassing — not only being held by in-store security until police arrive as people watch with their noses turned up and having to call a friend to make bail, but then hearing your name called out loud in court.

You’re Innocent, Until Proven Guilty

Being arrested for shoplifting, or another theft crime in Houston, should never imply guilt. In these United States we practice a standard of “innocent until proven guilty.” This is where Bennett & Bennett comes into play.

We’re criminal-defense lawyers.

We’re members of the criminal-defense wing of the criminal-defense bar and have no respect for cheap plea-bargain lawyers, or as we like to call them, the hand-job-and-kolache wing of the criminal-defense bar.

People make mistakes. The criminal-justice system is made of people. Mistakes are made when accusations are made. Attorney Mark Bennett understands this, and invites you to contact our office at 713-224-1747 if you’re dealing with a theft-related criminal offense like shoplifting.

Shoplifting & Texas Law

There is no specific statute outlawing shoplifting in Texas law, however, the offense is covered by our state’s theft laws. Theft laws under Texas code are structured to penalize the defendant on the basis of the amount of value lost (or that would have been lost if the theft had been completed) by the victim of the theft. Theft is defined under Texas law as moving or attempting to move an object or item of value against the wishes of the owner, without the permission of the owner, or by deceiving the owner.

Knowingly receiving stolen property is also considered a theft offense in Texas.

Criminal Penalties for Shoplifting

Class C Misdemeanor

Class C Misdemeanor is the criminal classification for shoplifting thefts in which the value of the item(s) was less than $100.00. If convicted in the Harris County Court, the criminal penalty isn’t jailable, but does carry a fine of up to $500.00.

Class B Misdemeanor

Class B Misdemeanor is the criminal classification for shoplifting thefts in which the value of the item(s) was more than $100.00, but less than $750.00. If convicted of the offense, the criminal penalty includes a potential Harris County jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2000.00.

Class A Misdemeanor

Class A Misdemeanor is the criminal classification for shoplifting thefts in which the value of the item(s) was more than $750.00, but less than $2,500.00. If convicted of the offense, the criminal penalty includes a potential Harris County jail sentence of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $4,000.00.

State Jail Felony

Houston shoplifting lawyer

State Jail Felony is the criminal classification for shoplifting thefts in which the value of the item(s) was more than $2,500.00, but less than $30,000.00. If convicted of the offense, the criminal penalty includes a potential Texas state jail sentence of up to 2 years and a fine of up to $10,000.00.

3rd Degree Felony

3rd Degree Felony is the criminal classification for shoplifting thefts in which the value of the item(s) was more than $30,000.00, but less than $150,000.00. If convicted of the offense, the criminal penalty includes a potential TDCJ sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.00.

1st & 2nd Degree Felony Theft Cases

1st & 2nd Degree Felony criminal classification is reserved for thefts in which the value of the item(s) was more than $150,000.00 (Second Degree Felony) or more than $300,000 (First Degree Felony). If convicted of the offense, the criminal penalty includes a potential TDCJ sentence of up to 20 years in prison for a Second Degree Felony, and up to life in prison for a First Degree Felony.

In most instances, 1st & 2nd degree felony cases are internal corporate thefts, valuable paintings, white collar offenses, con-games, ponzi-schemes, theft conspiracy rings involving auto parts, and the more diabolical theft schemes. Thefts of this magnitude are often prosecuted in federal court and usually don’t apply to people “accused” of shoplifting. There are exceptions — we have seen First Degree Felony charges involving the organized theft of baby formula, for example.

Arrested for Shoplifting in Houston?

Call Attorney Mark Bennett for Help

Since 1995 Attorney Mark Bennett has been more than instrumental in getting a number of Not-Guilty verdicts and case dismissals for our friends and neighbors in the Greater Houston region.

Whether you were charged with shoplifting in Harris County, Brazoria County, Chambers County, Liberty County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, Montgomery County, or Waller County, our legal team will show up and represent you, and probably get favorable results for you.

If you’re ready to schedule your free, 100% confidential consultation with attorney Mark Bennett, contact our law office by contact form, or call us direct, at 713-224-1747.

Houston Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

Bennett & Bennett