Texas Shoplifting Laws

Getting caught shoplifting is not only an embarrassing experience, it can have significant consequences. The laws of many states issue hefty fines and even jail time for certain shoplifting offenses, and Texas law is no exception. Read on to learn more about Texas shoplifting laws.

Texas Shoplifting Laws at a Glance

In Texas, shoplifting offenses fall under the general definition of "theft" in the Texas Penal Code. In addition, shielding or deactivating instruments used for shoplifting are also expressly prohibited under state law. The nature of a shoplifting charge and the associated penalty will depend on a couple of factors, including the value of the property stolen, and whether you have previously been convicted of any type of theft.

The following chart provides more information about Texas shoplifting laws.

Statutes

Definition

  • The definition of "theft" under the Texas Penal Code includes a variety of offenses, including shoplifting.
  • "Theft" is defined as the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of the property.
  • It's also a crime to possess, manufacture, or distribute shielding or deactivating instruments used for shoplifting.

Nature of the Charge

  • Shoplifting property valued at less than 100 is a Class C misdemeanor.
  • Shoplifting property valued at $100 or more but less than $750 is a Class B misdemeanor.
  • If you have been previously convicted of any grade of theft, shoplifting will be a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the property stolen is less than $100.
  • Shoplifting property valued at $750 or more but less than $2,500 is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Possession, manufacture, or distribution of a shielding or deactivating instrument is a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Shoplifting property valued at $2,500 or more but less than $30,000 is a state jail felony.
  • You will also be charged with a state jail felony if you have two or more prior convictions for theft, and the value of the property stolen is less than $2,500.
  • Shoplifting property valued at $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 is a felony in the third degree.
  • Shoplifting property valued at $150,000 or more but less than $300,000 is a felony in the second degree.
  • Shoplifting property valued at more than $300,000 is a felony in the first degree.

Penalties

  • Class C misdemeanor - fine of up to $500.
  • Class B misdemeanor - fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
  • Class A misdemeanor - fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.
  • State jail felony - fine of up to $10,000 and between 180 days and two years in jail.
  • Third degree felony - fine of up to $10,000 and between 2 and 10 years' imprisonment.
  • Second degree felony - fine of up to $10,000 and between 2 and 20 years' imprisonment.
  • First degree felony - fine of up to $10,000 and between 5 and 99 years' imprisonment.

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Legal Resources

Consider Speaking with a Lawyer About Your Texas Shoplifting Case

A shoplifting charge may seem like a mere annoyance, but in the state of Texas it can have significant repercussions. If you have been arrested for shoplifting, it's important for you to understand your legal rights. Consider speaking with an experienced criminal law attorney about your shoplifting case.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.