Houston Shoplifting Defense Attorneys


If you or your loved one is accused of shoplifting, then you need to seek legal counsel to combat your charges. At The Gonzalez Law Group, we have years of experience taking different criminal defense cases including theft crimes. When you come over to our firm, we’ll make sure to take a look at your case and give our honest perspective on it. Our firm understands that this incident can involve your children or your family, and it’s a critical time for you right now. If we take your case inside our firm, we’ll work together to create a plan of action and represent you against authorities. We value communication above anything else and will never leave you in the dark. Call our office in Houston, TX at (832) 530-4070. 

Overview of Shoplifting 

Shoplifting Offense 

The shoplifting offense is one offense that’s described under the umbrella of theft offenses under the law. Penal Code §31.03 classifies theft as meeting the following: 

  • Appropriating an item or property without the owner’s consent 
  • Appropriating a stolen item or property knowing it was stolen 

When referring to shoplifting, the stolen item or property belongs to a store or retail business. 

When it comes to talking about the shoplifter itself, no specific group of people tends to shoplift more than others. The reasons behind shoplifting also vary between individuals. Shoplifting sometimes becomes less about the item and more about the psychology of the person doing the stealing. Causes of shoplifting can extend to the following: 

  • Peer Pressure
  • Kleptomania (the urge to steal things you don’t really need) 
  • The adrenaline rush that comes with stealing  
  • A way to combat other issues 

Shoplifting Penalties 

The penalties for shoplifting all depend on the value of items and the items stolen. The classification of the penalties are as follows: 

Value of Theft   Offense   Penalty 
Less than $100 Class C Misdemeanor  Fine: Up to $500 
$100 to $750  Class B Misdemeanor  Fine: Up to $2,000

Incarceration: Confinement up to 180 days 

Less than $100/Previous theft conviction  Class B Misdemeanor Fine: Up to $2,000 

Incarceration: Confinement up to 180 days

$750 to $2,500 Class A Misdemeanor  Fine: Up to $4,000

Incarceration: Confinement up to 1 year

$2,500 to $30,000  State Jail Felony Fine: Up to $10,000

Incarceration: Confinement starting at 180 days to 2 years 

Less than $2,500/ 2 Previous theft convictions State Jail Felony Fine: Up to $10,000

Incarceration: Confinement starting at 180 days to 2 years 

Less than $20,000/Property stolen is aluminum, bronze, copper, or brass  State Jail Felony  Fine: Up to $10,000

Incarceration: Confinement starting at 180 days to 2 years 

$30,000 to $150,000  Third-Degree Felony Fine: Up to $10,000 

Incarceration: 2 years to 10 years 

$150,000 to $300,000  Second Degree Felony  Fine: Up to $10,000

Incarceration: 2 years to 20 years 

$300,000 or more  First Degree Felony  Fine: Up to $10,000

Incarceration: 5 years to 99 years 

Any misdemeanor up to a second-degree offense also has the potential to increase to the next offense level if the person who steals carries the status of a government official and used his or her status as a government official to steal the property. Having a legal bond with the government at the time of the offense is also included inside this penalty increase. The offense can also increase if the party from whom the property is stolen from is a non-profit entity or elderly person. 

Additional cases in which a penalty may be increased to the next level of offense is if, during the theft incident, the person stealing activates a fire alarm exit or deactivates a fire exit alarm or theft detector. Additionally, if the person tempers with the theft detector or theft alert device, then the penalty increase also applies to them. 

When it comes to juvenile crimes, shoplifting is often one of the most common offenses among teens. The rules for shoplifting are the same for juveniles as they are for adults, however, the penalties differ. Under Texas law, if you’re under 17, then you are most likely to be tried under the juvenile court for crimes including shoplifting. Though fines are subject to stay the same and can be attributed to parents’ responsibility, incarceration works differently. Instead of some time in jail, a juvenile can instead be subject to community service hours. However, if the shoplifting incident appears to be larger and the court deems it to be so, a juvenile can end up in a detention facility. 

Contact a Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

If you suspect you or your loved one will be charged with shoplifting, then you should take action right now. Do not wait until you have authority knocking on your doors. If the business is waiting for the right time to catch the shoplifter, then you should be prepared with a legal counsel. There are many factors that could’ve influenced that shoplifting situation and we want to go over all of them with you. The Gonzalez Law Group understands how getting charged with a shoplifting crime can impact your family’s dynamic gravely. We will meet with you and your family and analyze the shoplifting incident. Call our office at (832) 530-4070 for a free consultation with no attachments. The Gonzalez Law Group works with clients in Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Chambers County, and more. 

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