We’re all familiar with the term “shoplifting,” after all, many stores have clearly posted signs about the “penalties for shoplifting,” especially inside dressing rooms. Usually the signs say something to the effect of, “Shoplifting is a crime. Violators will be prosecuted.”
Texas does not have a specific shoplifting statute. Instead, shoplifting is covered under Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code.
Under Sec. 31.03, you commit the offense of “theft” when you unlawfully steal someone’s property with the intention of depriving the owner of their property. Theft under Sec. 31.03 can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value of the property stolen.
Here are some examples:
- Theft is a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the stolen property is less than $100.
- Theft is a Class B misdemeanor if the stolen property is worth more than $100, but less than $750.
- Theft is a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen ranges from $750 to less than $2,500.
- Theft is a state jail felony when the stolen property is worth $2,500 to less than $30,000.
- Theft is a felony of the third degree when the stolen property is worth $30,000 to less than $150,000.
- Theft is a felony of the second degree when the stolen property is worth $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000.
Since many shoplifting crimes are prosecuted as misdemeanors, we’re going to take a look at the penalties for Class A, B, and C misdemeanors under the Texas Penal Code.
- Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, or by a maximum fine of $4,000, or by both under Sec. 12.21.
- Class B misdemeanors are punishably by up to 180 days in jail, or by a fine not to exceed $2,000, or by both under Sec. 12.22.
- Class C misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum fine of $500 under Sec. 12.23.
Are you facing theft charges for shoplifting in Plano or Dallas? If so, contact our office to schedule an initial criminal defense consultation!