What are the Shoplifting Laws in Texas?
Many people think shoplifting as the act of a person swiping an item from a shop, putting inside his/her bag or pocket and then walk outside the store. While that is what shoplifting is all about, according to the penal code of Texas, shoplifting is a type of theft. According to the state's law, there are different kinds of theft while shoplifting is only one of the several theft crimes, which have been put under the umbrella of theft.
It can be an embarrassing experience to get caught for shoplifting and can have severe consequences. There are many states with laws that attach jail time and hefty monetary fines for specific shoplifting offenses and the law in Texas is not an exception to that.
Shoplifting in Texas
Shoplifting in Texas refers to criminal offenses and are included in the category of thefts according to the Penal Code of Texas. Also, deactivating and shielding instruments deployed for shoplifting are explicitly prohibited according to the state law. The kind of any shoplifting charge, as well as, the associated punishment will be based on a few factors such as the stolen property's value and whether the shoplifter was earlier convicted of any kind of theft. While a shoplifting charge can appear to be a matter of irritation, it may have serious repercussions in the state of Texas.
Definition of shoplifting in Texas
- According to the Penal Code of Texas, the definition of the term "theft" includes different kinds of offenses, which include shoplifting
- The state law defines theft as the illegal appropriation of merchandise with the intention of depriving the property owner
- The state considers it as a criminal offense to distribute, manufacture or possess deactivating or shielding instruments, which are used for shoplifting.
Shoplifting Penalties in Texas
The convicted can be slapped with charges of a felony or misdemeanor based on the stolen property's value, as well as, punishment can include fees and prison time.
- When the stolen property's value is below 550 USD, the convicted can be slapped with the charges of the Class C Misdemeanor and is penalized by a maximum fine of 500 USD
- In case the stolen property's value is between 50 and 500 USD, the convicted may be slapped with charges of the Class B misdemeanor and is penalized by a maximum fine of 2,000 USD and a maximum jail term of 180 days.
- When the stolen property's value is between 500 and 1,500 USD, the guilty may be charged with a misdemeanor of type Class A and is penalized by a maximum fine of 4,000 USD and a maximum jail term of 1 year.
- When the stolen property's value is between 1,500 USD and 20,000 USD, the guilty can be charged with a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and a jail term between 180 days and 2 years
- In case the stolen property's value is between 20,000 and 100,000 USD, the convicted will be charged with the felony of third-degree and is penalized by a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and a prison term between 2 and 10 years
- While the stolen property's value is between 100,000 and 200,000 USD, the guilty can be penalized by a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and a jail term of 2 2to 20 years
- When the stolen property's value is over 200,000 USD, the guilty are penalized by a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and a jail term between 5 years and 99 years.
Thus, it is obvious that as the value of the stolen property increases, the penalty to be faced by the convicted goes up in the state of Texas.
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