Tampering with price tags in Texas might be tempting because of the idea of paying less, but changing a price tag is a serious offense. It’s seen as shoplifting, and it carries serious consequences. Whether it’s a high-end electronics store or your local thrift shop, the rules are the same: the price marked is the price to be paid.
It’s a deliberate act of deception, a clear intent to steal and Texas law enforcement doesn’t take kindly to theft of any sort. It’s not the physical act of taking something and walking out the door. It’s the intent to deprive the merchant of its money that puts you in the wrong.
A not-so-small crime and its penalties
Prosecution is swift for shoplifting in Texas. The exact charges and penalties depend on the actual value of the merchandise.
- $100 or less: Class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500
- $100.01 to $749.99: Class B misdemeanor with imprisonment of up to 180 days and a fine of up to $2,000
- $750 to $2,499.99: Class A misdemeanor with up to one-year imprisonment and a fine of up to $4,000
- $2,500 to $29,999.99: State jail felony with an incarceration of 180 days to two years and a fine of up to $10,000
- $30,000 to $299,999.99: 2nd-degree felony with 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- $300,000 or more: 1st-degree felony with an incarceration of 5 to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000
Enhanced charges are possible for people who have previous convictions for shoplifting. You can also face charges for having a shielding or deactivating instrument. This is charged as a Class A misdemeanor.
You must consider your defense strategies quickly if facing a criminal charge for shoplifting. A conviction can have serious ramifications, so a solid defense is a good idea.