Harris County Shoplifting Lawyer

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Harris County Shoplifting Attorney

It can be demoralizing to be accused of shoplifting. You may feel singled out for any number of reasons, or you may forget that you have certain rights which can help you fight any charges filed against you. You may feel hopeless, especially if you have several strikes against you already. That’s why it’s important to take the proper precautions to protect yourself in the event of any accusations and retain the services of an experienced Harris County shoplifting lawyer.

While shoplifting charges in Harris County might seem like a straightforward and simple case, it doesn’t mean you can ignore the accusations. In order to protect your rights and ensure you don’t face a jail sentence and criminal fines, you still need a defense to any Harris County theft or shoplifting offense by our Harris County Shoplifting Lawyer.

What is shoplifting in Harris County? A shoplifting lawyer in Harris County would defend against charges that you:

  • Attempted to conceal merchandise in your purse or bag;
  • Switched the price tags on items in a store to pay less;
  • Represented to the store that the items you returned were bought and paid for, but were not; and
  • Wearing clothing or other merchandise out of the store without paying.

When accused of these actions, regardless of their merit, you need advice on how to build a defense. Our Houston-based team at Greco Neyland is ready to provide this defense in a way that is cost-effective and personalized to your case. We take every shoplifting case seriously, whether you are accused of taking $100 in property or $100,000.

Our commitment to every case has led to noticeable results and an outstanding reputation for criminal defense.

Top Harris County Shoplifting Attorney

In Harris County, there isn’t a statute that focuses specifically on shoplifting. Instead, charges for shoplifting in Harris County, as in Houston and other parts of Texas, fall under the state’s theft laws. These laws make it a crime to shoplift, steal, embezzle, or possess property that is known to be stolen.

Theft in Harris County is defined by two separate elements. A prosecutor must prove both elements to win a conviction for thefts such as shoplifting, and a Harris County shoplifting lawyer at Greco Neyland brings evidence to disprove or create doubt around these elements. Section 31.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines theft as:

  1. Unlawfully appropriating the property of another person;
  2. With the intent to deprive the owner of such property.

The statute further explains that several actions can constitute an unlawful appropriation. These actions include:

  1. Taking the property without the owner’s consent;
  2. Taking possession of property that the defendant knows to be stolen property; or
  3. Law enforcement describes the property as stolen, and the actor takes it, believing another person previously stole it.

Of these different definitions of unlawful appropriation, the most likely to apply to shoplift is taking the property without consent. This would apply to nearly any instance of concealing, refusing payment, or otherwise taking merchandise from a store.

What Happens When You Are Convicted of Shoplifting?

The potential punishment for a shoplifting conviction depends on the value of the merchandise stolen. When a person shoplifts one item at $100, the charges will be less substantial and far less serious than shoplifting 1,000 items valued at $100. However, a Harris County criminal lawyer can always help in your defense.

Shoplifting is most frequently a misdemeanor offense in Harris County. The misdemeanor charges for shoplifting or theft are:

  • Class C misdemeanor: the value of the shoplifted property is $50 or less
  • Class B misdemeanor: the value of the shoplifted property is between $50 and $500
  • Class A misdemeanor: the value of the shoplifted property is between $500 and $1,500

Shoplifting can also be a felony offense. When the value of the property exceeds $1,500 it is a state jail felony in Harris County. Meaning the potential sentence exceeds one year, but the term would be served in state jail, not a county prison. Other felony offenses for shoplifting could lead to the punishment of two, five, or even 10 years in prison.

FAQs

Q: What Is the Punishment in Texas for Shoplifting?

A: The punishment for shoplifting in Texas is directly proportional to the amount of merchandise that was shoplifted. If the value is under $100, it is considered a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a small fine. If the value exceeds $100 but not $750, it is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a larger fine and some jail time. It’s Class A if the value exceeds $750 but not $2,500, which carries a bigger fine and some jail time. Any larger, and it becomes a felony.

Q: What Is a Class C Misdemeanor for Shoplifting in Texas?

A: A Class C misdemeanor is the lowest possible charge you can receive for shoplifting in Texas. If the item or items that were shoplifted do not exceed an estimated value of $100, then you may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which carries with it a fine of up to $500 but no actual jail time. Any misdemeanor that is not already designated a Class A, B, or C and has no predetermined penalty is automatically considered a Class C misdemeanor.

Q: Does Texas Have Shopkeeper’s Privilege?

A: Yes, Texas does permit shopkeeper’s privilege when it comes to accusations of shoplifting. Store managers and employees have the right to detain a person who is suspected of shoplifting so they can personally investigate the suspected shoplifter while the proper authorities are in route to investigate. During the time of detainment, the suspected shoplifter is not allowed to be abused or injured but can be held while the store employee reasonably investigates their person.

Q: What Is a Class B Misdemeanor in Texas for Shoplifting?

A: A shoplifting charge becomes a Class B misdemeanor when the item or items that were shoplifted exceed an estimated value of $100 but do not exceed an estimated value of $750. A Class B misdemeanor is considerably more serious than a Class C but not as serious as a Class A or a felony charge. A Class B misdemeanor carries with it a significant fine of up to $2,000 and a possible 180 days’ worth of jail time.

Contact a Top Shoplifting Lawyer in Harris County

Fighting a shoplifting charge is not easy work. It becomes even harder if you decide to fight it alone and without representation. You are encouraged to retain experienced counsel who can help you fight your charges and even reduce your sentence. The legal team at Greco Neyland knows how to help, and we can offer you experience, education, and wisdom.

If you need a defense to shoplifting charges in Harris County, you need a shoplifting defense lawyer from Greco Neyland. Our office provides local, experienced defense to shoplifting, grand larceny, and other thefts – in addition to an array of drug charges, DWI, and assault. Want to learn more? We’re available 24/7 to take your call.

Build a defense to charges of shoplifting in Harris County

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