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Shoplifting / Retail Theft

The crime of retail theft is more commonly referred to as shoplifting and many businesses throughout Texas can be vigilant in their pursuit of criminal charges against individuals accused of stealing property. While a shoplifting arrest is certainly embarrassing, the ensuing criminal charges can also be very serious.

Depending on the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged offense, retail theft crimes can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. In certain cases, alleged offenders could also be liable for civil damages under the Texas Theft Liability Act (TTLA).

Lawyer for Shoplifting Arrests in Plano, TX

Were you recently arrested for alleged retail theft anywhere in Collin County? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal representation. Make sure you contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible.

Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Plano who represent clients accused of all kinds of theft offenses in communities all over Collin County, including Frisco, McKinney, Plano, Allen, and many others. They can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call 469-304-3422 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.


Collin County Retail Theft Information Center


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Shoplifting Penalties in Texas

Shoplifting is a crime that is among the crimes consolidated under the single offense of theft under Texas Penal Code § 31.02. Shoplifting charges are typically based on the value of the property allegedly stolen as established under Texas Penal Code § 31.03(e):

  • Class C misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than $100;
  • Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750 or the value of the property stolen is less than $100 and the alleged offender has previously been convicted of any grade of theft;
  • Class A misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is $750 or more but less than $2,500;
  • State jail felony if the value of the property stolen is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, the property stolen is a firearm, or the value of the property stolen is less than $2,500 and the alleged offender has been previously convicted two or more times of any grade of theft;
  • Third-degree felony if the value of the property stolen is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;
  • Second-degree felony if the value of the property stolen is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000;
  • First-degree felony if the value of the property stolen is $300,000 or more.

Any of the offenses listed above can be increased to the next higher category (Class C misdemeanor becomes a Class B misdemeanor, Class A misdemeanor becomes a state jail felony, etc.) if the owner of the property appropriated was at the time of the offense an elderly individual or a nonprofit organization, or during the commission of the alleged offense, the alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused a fire exit alarm to sound or otherwise become activated, deactivated or otherwise prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding, or used a shielding or deactivation instrument to prevent or attempt to prevent detection of the offense by a retail theft detector.


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Organized Retail Theft Penalties in Collin County

An alleged offender commits the crime of organized retail theft under Texas Penal Code § 31.16 if he or she intentionally conducts, promotes, or facilitates an activity in which the alleged offender receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of stolen retail merchandise or merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise. Organized retail theft offenses are largely graded the same way that traditional theft offenses are classified, except for the impact of prior convictions:

  • Class C misdemeanor if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is less than $100;
  • Class B misdemeanor if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is $100 or more but less than $750;
  • Class A misdemeanor if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is $750 or more but less than $2,500;
  • State jail felony if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;
  • Third-degree felony if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is $30,000 or more but less than $150,000;
  • Second-degree felony if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is $150,000 or more but less than $300,000;
  • First-degree felony if the value of the merchandise involved in the alleged activity is $300,000 or more.

Organized retail theft offenses can be increased to the next higher category if the alleged offender organized, supervised, financed, or managed one or more other persons engaged in an activity in which the alleged offender receives, possesses, conceals, stores, barters, sells, or disposes of stolen retail merchandise or merchandise explicitly represented to the person as being stolen retail merchandise. The classification of organized retail theft offenses can also be increased if during the commission of the alleged offense, the alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly caused a fire exit alarm to sound or otherwise become activated, deactivated or otherwise prevented a fire exit alarm or retail theft detector from sounding, or used a shielding or deactivation instrument to prevent or attempt to prevent detection of the offense by a retail theft detector.


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Texas Resources for Shoplifting / Retail Theft Crimes

National Association for Shoplifting Prevention (NASP) — Originally founded as Shoplifters Anonymous, Inc., NASP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that identifies itself as “the nationwide leader in shoplifting prevention efforts.” You can find information about the organization’s education programs for adults and juveniles, online theft classes, and self-help support. The website also has research from various recidivism studies.

Help for Shoplifters — Visit this website created by a person who was addicted to shoplifting. The author shares a free workbook, links to support groups, and several other resources. You can also find a list of recommended books and other media.


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The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Shoplifting / Retail Theft Defense Attorney

If you were arrested in the Collin County area for an alleged shoplifting offense, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy aggressively defends individuals in McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano, and many surrounding areas of Collin County.

Plano criminal defense lawyers Richard McConathy and Brian Bolton will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that result in the fewest penalties. You can have our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call 469-304-3422 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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