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:
Have you or someone you know been charged with shoplifting in the Greater Houston area? All types of theft require experienced criminal defense if you want to avoid large fines. Contact the Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky for help today.
Shoplifting may either be a misdemeanor or a felony. While typically not as intense as the penalties of crimes like aggravated sexual assault or homicide, the severity of the crime depends on several factors:
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)
Class B Misdemeanor (Valued at $50 to $499)
Class A Misdemeanor (Valued at $500 to $1,499)
Those who are found guilty of felony shoplifting could face these sanctions:
State Jail Felony (Valued at $1,500 to $19,999)
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.
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.
If you or someone you know is facing theft allegations of any kind, do not waste any time. Call Brett A. Podolsky at 713-227-0087 today to learn about your legal options.