Houston Shoplifting Lawyer – Brett Podolsky
Shoplifting is the theft of merchandise from a retail establishment. In some cases, a person who is accused of shoplifting may steal goods indirectly. That is, he may try to obtain an item by paying a fraudulent or unauthorized discounted price. Shoplifting crimes may consist of:
- Neglecting to pay for merchandise or services
- Switching the price tags of items
- Returning a stolen item in exchange for cash or goods
Shoplifting may either be a misdemeanor or a felony. The severity of the crime depends on several factors:
- What is the total retail value of the stolen merchandise or services?
- Does the defendant have any prior convictions?
- Did the defendant commit credit card or check fraud in order to obtain the items?
Accused of shoplifting? Don’t delay; call Brett Podolsky at 713-227-0087 today.
Possible Consequences of Shoplifting
The actual penalties for a shoplifting conviction depend on the retail value of the stolen goods. An act of shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor if the items cost less than $1,500.
Class C Misdemeanor (Valued at less than $50)
- A maximum fine of $500
Class B Misdemeanor (Valued at $50 to $499)
- Up to 180 days in jail
- A maximum fine of $2,000
Class A Misdemeanor (Valued at $500 to $1,499)
- Up to one year in jail
- A maximum fine of $4,000
Those who are found guilty of felony shoplifting could face these sanctions:
State Jail Felony (Valued at $1,500 to $19,999)
- Up to two years in state jail
- A maximum fine of $10,000
An individual’s time in confinement will continue to increase as the value of the shoplifted merchandise escalates. A first-degree felony shoplifting charge is punishable with up to 99 years in prison. Felony and misdemeanor cases can both result in mandatory community service or probation.
People who are convicted of shoplifting may find it difficult to gain employment in certain industries. In addition, students may be ineligible for scholarships or federal financial aid.
Get help for shoplifting accusations. Call Brett Podolsky at 713-227-0087.
A Strong Defense Against Shoplifting Charges
Many cases of shoplifting are accidental. Therefore, prosecutors must prove that a defendant had the intent to steal. If you live in the Houston area and have been accused of shoplifting, you need to have a talk with criminal defense attorney Brett A. Podolsky.
Mr. Podolsky is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a former assistant district attorney who prosecuted many shoplifting cases during his tenure. When you hire Bretty A. Podolsky as your lawyer, he will use his extensive legal experience to guard your rights in a court of law.