Were you recently arrested and charged with shoplifting in Plano, TX? Shoplifting may seem minor, but the consequences can be harsh. You could face jail time, steep financial fines, and a lasting criminal record. Contact a Plano shoplifting lawyer at Edgett Law Firm for immediate assistance if you’re facing criminal charges.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 22 years of experience handling criminal defense cases. We’re well-prepared to put the full weight of our proven record of success to work for you.
How Edgett Law Firm Can Help if You Were Arrested for Shoplifting in Plano, TX
Being arrested for shoplifting can be a frightening and embarrassing experience. Unfortunately, your arrest is only the beginning of the criminal justice process. Prosecutors will start working immediately to secure a conviction and punish you for the offense.
You deserve an experienced advocate to help you fight back. At Edgett Law Firm, our legal team has over 22 years of experience. We’ve won the Avvo Client’s Choice Award for Criminal Defense, and we’ve been listed on the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers.
We’ve also helped countless clients just like you beat the charges they’re facing. When you hire our lawyers, you can count on an experienced Plano criminal defense lawyer who will:
- Thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest
- Locate any relevant evidence that could prove your innocence
- Identify all weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case
- Protect your constitutional rights at all stages of the legal process
- Negotiate behind the scenes with prosecutors to get the charges reduced or dropped
- Represent you in court and fight to secure an acquittal if necessary
We can help whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges. Don’t accept a plea deal or give up without calling our trusted Plano criminal defense attorneys first. We offer a free consultation, so give us a call and create an attorney client relationship today.
Overview of Laws on Shoplifting in Texas
Shoplifting and other theft laws in Texas are consolidated into a single law. In other words, Texas doesn’t have a specific shoplifting law. Instead, shoplifting is a type of theft offense punishable under the general laws on theft.
A person is guilty of theft under Texas Penal Code Section 31.01 if they unlawfully take property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Taking property is “unlawful” if it is taken without the owner’s consent. In shoplifting cases, this usually means taking property from a retail store without paying full value.
However, every shoplifting case is unique. You may be charged with shoplifting if the store owner accuses you of:
- Changing the tax on retail items to avoid paying full value
- Disabling retail theft detectors or other anti-theft devices
- Under-ringing an item at the cash register
- Moving merchandise into a different box to avoid paying full price
- Concealing merchandise with the intent of removing it from the store without paying
Many shoplifting cases turn on whether you had the required intent to permanently deprive the store owner of the property in question.
Our shoplifting defense lawyers at Edgett Law Firm have years of experience handling shoplifting cases here in Plano. We’ll do everything possible to have your shoplifting charges dropped or downgraded to a less serious crime if possible.
Were you charged with shoplifting? Call our law offices in Plano to schedule a free case review today. We’ll start working on your defense strategy as soon as you call, so don’t wait another moment to get the legal advice you deserve.
How Serious Are Shoplifting Charges in Plano, TX?
Police and prosecutors take theft charges seriously in Texas. However, the severity of a shoplifting charge depends on the value of the stolen property, as follows:
- Property valued at less than $100: Class C misdemeanor
- Property valued at between $100 and $750: Class B misdemeanor
- Property valued at between $750 and $2,500: Class A misdemeanor
- Property valued at between $2,500 and $30,000: State jail felony
- Property valued at between $30,000 and $150,000: Third-degree felony
- Property valued at between $150,000 and $300,000: Second-degree felony
- Property valued at more than $300,000: Third-degree felony
For repeat offenders, more serious charges can apply even if the value of the stolen goods was less than $100.
Many shoplifting charges are misdemeanors. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the charge seriously. A conviction for any type of theft offense can severely damage your future–and cause people to question your character.
At Edgett Law Firm, our Plano shoplifting attorneys will do everything we can to prevent the state prosecutors from convicting you of a crime.
What are the Penalties for Shoplifting and Theft Crimes in Plano, Texas?
The penalties for shoplifting in Texas ultimately depend on the value of the property that is stolen. Shoplifting can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
If convicted of a misdemeanor, the judge has authority to punish you with:
- Up to $500 in fines for a Class C misdemeanor
- Up to 180 days in jail for a Class B misdemeanor and a $2,000 fine
- Up to one year in jail for a Class A misdemeanor and a $4,000 fine
You might think that merely paying the fine and not fighting the charges is the best way to go if you’re charged with a misdemeanor. However, paying the fine is the same as being convicted of the crime. That means you’ll walk away with a criminal record that could impact your future.
If you’re charged with a felony, the penalties become even more severe. If convicted, you could face:
- Between 180 days and two years in prison for a state jail felony
- Between two years and ten years in prison for a third-degree felony
- Between two years and 20 years in prison for a second-degree felony
- Between five years and 99 years in prison, or up to life in prison, for a first-degree felony conviction
If you’re convicted of a felony, you’ll also face up to $10,000 in financial penalties.
Monetary penalties and jail time are serious. They’re also often only the tip of the iceberg in cases involving theft offenses. Once you complete your punishment, you’ll have a criminal record for theft–which is considered a crime of moral turpitude.
Collateral consequences of a theft conviction often include:
- Community service
- A lasting criminal record
- Difficulty finding suitable housing
- Difficulty finding employment
- Difficulty obtaining certain professional licenses
- Problems securing bank loans or government assistance
- Immigration problems
- Damage to your reputation
If convicted, the shop owner may also choose to bring civil charges against you to recover damages.
It’s always important to seek legal representation if you’re facing criminal charges in Plano. Call Edgett Law Firm for a free case evaluation today to learn more about how our experienced lawyers can help.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Shoplifting in Plano?
It’s easy to feel like you don’t have a chance to beat the charges if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime. That’s not always the case. There are many effective defense strategies that can work to get your case dismissed or win a conviction.
Like any drug crime case, if you or a loved one were charged with shoplifting, you’ll need a custom-tailored defense to give you the best chance of avoiding a conviction.
Some of the best defenses to shoplifting include:
Lack of Intent
The district attorney must prove that you intended to steal the property beyond a reasonable doubt. If you didn’t have the required intent, the state can’t convict you on shoplifting charges.
For example, if someone else changed the price tag on an item and you attempted to purchase it at the altered price, you would lack the requisite intent to shoplift.
Police and prosecutors have to play by the rules. Examples of constitutional violations include situations where you were denied your right to an attorney, weren’t read your Miranda rights, or were detained for an unreasonable amount of time.
If the owner of the property in question actually consented to your taking it, you can’t be convicted on shoplifting charges.
Maybe someone threatened you with violence to coerce you into stealing the item in question. If that’s the case, it may be possible to have the charges dropped or downgraded.
Our lawyers believe that everyone deserves the strongest legal defense possible. You can count on us to carefully examine your case and identify any defense strategies that can help you avoid conviction.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Plano Shoplifting Lawyer
Our lawyers at Edgett Law Firm have been helping citizens of Plano, Fort Worth, and Dallas County for decades. If you or a loved one were accused of shoplifting, we’d be proud to stand up and protect your legal rights. Just call our law offices to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Plano shoplifting lawyer today.