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Question: What are the penalties for shoplifting?
Shoplifting in Texas is a kind of shorthand version for theft. The difference is on a shoplifting case, very often it’s a store and they have a loss prevention person, and they may have watched through video cameras and saw the theft occur. It’s the dollar amount that determines what the range of punishment is. If it’s under $100, it’s a Class C misdemeanor. If it’s over $100, but less than $750, generally you’re looking at a Class B. Above that amount, it is a Class A misdemeanor. In most cases, you want to avoid a conviction for a theft case because a theft case is a crime of moral turpitude and it can have ramifications.
What I usually do, if I represent somebody on a theft case or a shoplifting case, is try to see if there’s a way to get the person off. Can we win the case? Can we get the case thrown out through a motion to suppress? If we can’t win the case, if we can’t get it thrown out, then what you want to do is avoid a conviction through some alternative method. Maybe we can get the state to offer a pretrial diversion, which gets you out of the criminal justice system; or maybe we can get a deferred adjudication, where you avoid the conviction and down the road, you can seal it.
A theft conviction can affect you down the road in job applications. It can even be used against you in a suit. Let’s say you’re going through a divorce and the fact is if you’re convicted for a theft, they’re going to use it against you to show you’re not trustworthy. It’s important to avoid even a minor theft case conviction.
Were you or a loved one accused of a crime and have questions about shoplifting? Contact a San Antonio criminal attorney at Rush & Gransee today for a consultation on your case and all of your potential defenses. Let our experience work for you.