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Is shoplifting a felony or misdemeanor in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Theft & Property Crimes |

Shoplifting is a form of theft, be it concealing items, changing price tags or other deceptive practices to avoid paying the full price. Some people downplay the seriousness of shoplifting, but it’s an offense that can have significant legal implications. First, you could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor for shoplifting. 

Either way, a conviction can be disastrous and affect your life in the long term. Here is what you need to know about the nature of shoplifting charges in the Lone Star State and the potential penalties.

The value of the stolen goods matter

Under Texas law, the value of the stolen items primarily determines if you will be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Shoplifting is generally considered a misdemeanor shoplifting for cases involving items under $2,500. Anything above that, and you could be charged with a felony.

It’s worth noting that the value of stolen goods is not the only consideration. The type of stolen items may also inform the charges you will face regardless of their value. For instance, stealing a firearm is a felony offense. 

Other aggravating factors that may determine the nature of shoplifting charges include prior theft convictions, using a device to facilitate the theft or if the shoplifting incident involved organized retail theft.

The potential legal penalties depend on the degree or severity of your shoplifting charges. Felonies and misdemeanors have different classifications with varying penalties. You could be looking at substantial fines, years in jail and the inevitable criminal record if convicted of shoplifting.

Do not take costly chances

If you or someone you know has been arrested for theft, seeking early legal guidance can help achieve the best possible outcome. With so much at stake, downplaying the seriousness of the situation because the value of the stolen goods seems insignificant is ill-advised.