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What Happens If You Get Caught Shoplifting in TX?


Shoplifting is among the most common crimes in TX. While this theft crime doesn’t involve violence, it can still result in jail time for offenders. Generally speaking, the severity of penalties and consequences for shoplifting would depend on the stolen good’s value. If you’re facing a charge of shoplifting, you should take it seriously and seek legal help from a TX criminal defense attorney right away or face the consequences.

What Are The Penalties and Consequences for Shoplifting in TX?

The higher the value of the stolen goods, the more severe the consequences. If an offender steals multiple items, the items’ combined value would be used for calculating the value. Shoplifting is usually a misdemeanor, but you may face more severe penalties if you have previous convictions. Likewise, you may be charged with robbery, a felony, if you used actual or the threat of violence when you committed the crime:

  • Class C Misdemeanor – Items worth not more than $50. Up to a $500 fine.
  • Class B Misdemeanor – Items worth between $50 and $499. A fine not exceeding $2,000 and 180 days of jail time.
  • Class A Misdemeanor – Items worth between $500 and $1,499. A fine not exceeding $4,000 and up to 1 year in jail. Making or distributing a device used for deactivating a shoplifting detector is also a class A misdemeanor.
  • State Jail Felony – Items worth between $1,500 and $19,999. A fine of $10,000 and up to 2 years of jail time.

You can likewise receive enhanced penalties if you prevented or tried to prevent the activation of a retail theft detector or used a device for deactivating a detector. Besides facing criminal charges, you may be liable to the shoplifting victim as well. For example, a shop owner that you stole from can file a civil lawsuit against you to recover the following damages:

  • Actual damages resulting from the shoplifting incident, such as the stolen item’s retail value if it wasn’t returned in its original or sellable condition
  • Legal costs and fees
  • A civil fine not exceeding $1,000

It is also worth noting that if the offender is a minor, their legal guardian or parent will be responsible for paying the civil damages. However, state law limits the liability of parents to actual damages resulting from the theft, with a $5,000 cap plus legal costs and fees.

In addition, on top of the possible criminal and civil penalties, you may also face collateral consequences if you get convicted of shoplifting. These are legal penalties meant to take away an offender’s rights, access to services or programs, or impose disadvantage that might not be a part of the offender’s sentence. These can negatively impact your future employment opportunities, ability to access loans and housing, and immigration status, among many others.

Consult With a Skilled TX Criminal Defense Attorney Now

If you’re facing a shoplifting charge in TX, don’t assume that it is no big deal. Consulting with a TX criminal defense attorney from the law firm of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC is your best bet to achieve the most favorable outcome for your case. Dial 210-222-9132 or reach us online to arrange your consultation today.