Hundreds of thousands of shoplifting incidents happen every day, putting stores on high alert for this potential crime. If you are charged with shoplifting, you may be facing serious consequences. Depending on the value of the items stolen, you could even face a felony-level offense. That is why it is crucial to enlist the help of a strong team of theft defense attorneys who can fight to protect your freedoms and rights.
An experienced Frisco shoplifting lawyer at Barbieri Law Firm, P.C. understands the law and how to put it to work to protect you. No matter the situation, you deserve competent legal counsel on your side representing your best interests.
Shoplifting Offenses in Frisco
While many states have a specific “shoplifting” law, the state of Texas does not. Instead, shoplifting falls under Texas Penal Code Chapter 31 (Theft). The most prevalent form of shoplifting is the one that people typically think of when they hear the term—which is when a person takes an item out of a store without paying for it. Though it is the most common way a shoplifting offense occurs, it is far from the only circumstance in which a person could be charged with this crime.
Other types of conduct that could result in a shoplifting offense includes:
- Returning a stolen item for store credit or cash
- Using a self-checkout and purposely not scanning every item
- Changing or switching tags and barcodes on items to pay less than the full purchase price
- Conspiring with a cashier who agrees to “forget” to scan items or under-ring the purchase price of items
Any of the above behavior could result in significant criminal penalties that impact a person’s life forever. A seasoned shoplifting attorney in Frisco can build a strong defense to help mitigate or eliminate these potential consequences.
Possession of a Device to Facilitate Shoplifting
In addition to the shoplifting offense itself, it is illegal to possess or use a device that is meant to facilitate shoplifting. This might include aluminum-lined bags—often called “booster bags—which prevent anti-theft devices from functioning properly.
Distributing, selling, or manufacturing these items is also a punishable offense that may result in heavy fines. The mere possession of these types of items could even land a person behind bars.
Penalties for Shoplifting
If a person is convicted of shoplifting, their sentence will depend primarily on the value of item or items stolen in the offense. The possible verdicts are as follows:
- Class C Misdemeanor: This occurs if the stolen item is valued less than $100. It may be punished by a fine of up to $500.
- Class B Misdemeanor: If the items taken are valued between $100 and $750, the crime is punishable by a $2,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail.
- Class A Misdemeanor: If the items are valued between $750 and $2,500, the punishment may be up to a $4,000 fine and one year in jail.
- Felony Charges: Stealing items $2,500 or greater in value is a felony and could result in several years in prison and high fines.
To understand the specific charges they face—and the potential penalties—a defendant should reach out to a knowledgeable shoplifting lawyer in Frisco right away.
Seek Representation from a Frisco Shoplifting Attorney
While many potential defenses exist to combat a shoplifting charge, it is crucial to know the facts of your case. At Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., we have the years of experience and knowledge needed to analyze your case and build a defense customized to your specific situation.
Schedule a consultation with a Frisco shoplifting lawyer to get started on your case right away. We are prepared to help fight for your rights in court, so call now.