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Shoplifting Instruments

When one hears the word "shoplifting," they don't typically imagine a lot of equipment involved. This isn't the case anymore, now there are tools designed for shoplifting. Many are used to dislodge security tags or utilized to shield or deactivate retail detectors.

Retail theft tools are created to assist an offender in a shoplifting crime. An example of a shoplifting tool can be a device to remove security tags, and a foil or metal-lined shopping bag.

Texas Penal Code Section 31.15 states that possessing, manufacturing, or distributing retail theft instruments is illegal. These shoplifting apparatuses are defined under Texas law as a "shielding or deactivation instrument".

Attorney for Possession of Retail Theft Instruments in Dallas, Texas

Possessing, manufacturing, or distributing a retail theft tool can have serious penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with one of these crimes in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, it is essential that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Our seasoned attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are well-versed in retail thefts and related crimes. If you have been charged with possessing, producing, or distributing shoplifting tools contact us for a free consultation. We have offices in the Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Allen or Plano area.

Class A misdemeanor convictions are no joke, and can seriously affect your future employment. Submit an online contact form, or call (972) 233-5700 today for one-on-one legal counsel that can steer you in the right direction.


Elements for Possessing Shoplifting Instruments

There are several elements that must be proven for the alleged offender to be convicted of possessing a shoplifting tool. They are as follows:

  • The defendant acted with the intent to use the instrument to commit theft; and,
  • Possessed a shielding or deactivation instrument; or
  • Knowingly offered, sold, or manufactured said shielding or deactivation instrument.

Some may confuse the terminology when it comes to shoplifting instruments and burglary tools. A burglary tool is normally used to steal property. Burglary tools are usually not utilized during retail hours. Some examples of burglary tools are crowbars, lock picks, and explosives. A shoplifting instrument, on the other hand, is usually exercised during store hours. A shoplifting tool mainly diverts retail theft detectors or discards security tags.


Penalties for Using Retail Theft Tools in Texas

Most people believe that if an individual was arrested for retail theft, he or she must have the stolen property in hand. This is not always the case. In a significant number of cases, the offender does not even leave the store before the merchant has been alerted to a theft.

Although the crime wasn't completed, the alleged offender can still be charged. According to the Texas Penal Code Section 31.15, a conviction for possession, manufacture, or distribution of a retail theft instrument is a Class A misdemeanor.

Some possible consequences for a Class A misdemeanor are:

  • A fine of up to $4,000; and/or
  • Up to a year in county jail.

Additional Resources

Kleptomania Support Group - Dailystrength.org is a communal internet space where support groups can communicate to each other via forums. Here you can message real living kleptomaniacs who are reaching out for support or help. Go online and join this group to seek advice from people who are also struggling with this addiction.

Texas Penal Code: Offenses against Property - Visit Texas legislature and read the statutory language surrounding shoplifting instruments. Learn what qualifies as a retail theft tool, and the penalties associated with possession, manufacturing, and or distribution.


Locating a Lawyer for Shoplifting Instruments in Dallas County, Texas

If you or someone you love has been arrested for shoplifting or related crimes in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan area, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. The attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are not only qualified in criminal defense but will treat your case with utmost care.

A shoplifting conviction can create a permanent stain on your criminal record. Call us today for an attorney experienced in criminal defense in the greater Dallas area, including Plano in Collin County, Fort Worth in Tarrant County, Denton in Denton County, and Dallas in Dallas County.

Our attorneys are knowledgeable in fighting theft and shoplifting cases after an arrest by the local law enforcement agencies including Grand Prairie, Red Oak, Desoto, Lancaster, Hutchins, Wilmer, Glen Heights, Forney, Mesquite, Seagoville, Arlington, Ferris, and Dallas.

It is time to get serious and have a plan. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy is ready to take your case and defend your rights. Submit a contact form online for a free initial consultation, or dial (972) 233-5700 for peace of mind today.


This article was last updated on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

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