Shoplifting | Gonzalez Law Group
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Shoplifting 

Shoplifting is very common everywhere, however just because your friend didn’t get caught doesn’t mean that you won’t either. About 2 million shoplifters get caught every year, and even though that’s a small number out of the vast number of shoplifting incidents, there’s nothing that assures you won’t be the one to get caught next. 

The National Retail Federation’s study in regards to retail theft in 2017 reported that approximately 60% of retailers who they surveyed planned to implement extra means of security to combat retail theft. As the number of losses increase, retailers are pushed to use new technology to catch more shoplifters. Though you didn’t get caught when the store had an old theft security system, if a store decides to invest in a whole new security program, then you won’t be as lucky. If you are caught shoplifting or suspect you may be charged with a shoplifting offense, hire an attorney for shoplifting to follow the correct next steps.  

Lawyer for Shoplifting in Houston, TX

If you’re accused of shoplifting 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. 

The Gonzalez Law Group 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. 

The Gonzalez Law Group works with clients in Houston, Galveston, Kemah, Richmond, Friendswood, Cypress, Sugarland, Pearland, Clear Lake City, Kingwood, Spring, Katy, Stafford, Missouri City, Aldine, Fulshear, Jersey Village, and more. 


Overview of Shoplifting 


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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 tend 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 the following: 

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

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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 $100Class 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 MisdemeanorFine: Up to $2,000 

Incarceration: Confinement up to 180 days

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

Incarceration: Confinement up to 1 year

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

Incarceration: Confinement starting at 180 days to 2 years 

Less than $2,500/ 2 Previous theft convictionsState Jail FelonyFine: 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 FelonyFine: 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 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 maybe 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 across 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 staying the same and can be attributed to parents’ responsibility, incarceration works differently. Instead of sometime 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. 


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Additional Resources

Organization Against Shoplifting – Say No To Shoplifting is an organization that is dedicated to spreading awareness about the shoplifting issue as it pertains to teens and their families. There’s a section for both parents and kids. The section is dedicated to that particular person’s role in shoplifting. 

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention – The National Association For Shoplifting Prevention is a page dedicated to shoplifting. The page provides shoplifting statistics as well as other resources available to retailers. The organization makes it clear that shoplifting is a problem all across the country, and they are doing everything that’s possible to stop it. 


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Attorney for Shoplifting in Harris County, TX

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.